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Dinner 2019


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14 hours ago, Shelby said:

Had to google Arrack.  Does it taste like coconut?

Tasted a bit like rum, sweet undertones. I did not feel that it taste like coconut, but then probably more than 50% of my dietary intake over the last few days contained coconut, so maybe I have already built up a tolerance ..?

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We had Monday off for Patriot's Day and it was warm enough to grill, so I made grilled coconut-lime-lemongrass chicken with pineapple sambal and rice.  The side dish was a Thai-inspired slaw recipe from a free issue of Milk Street magazine that I got in the mail.  It was pretty tasty.




Last night I made salmon banh mi



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I was given a big bag of organic basil....pesto was my first thought. Served on a bowl of minestrone dragged from the freezer alongside some toasties made with a smear of tomato chilli jam and smoked havarti. 




There’s hardly a dent in the bag of basil - ideas ?

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1 hour ago, sartoric said:

I was given a big bag of organic basil....pesto was my first thought. Served on a bowl of minestrone dragged from the freezer alongside some toasties made with a smear of tomato chilli jam and smoked havarti. 


There’s hardly a dent in the bag of basil - ideas ?


We had a member who regularly used basil as a green in stir fries and the like in mass quantities

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You could freeze in after pureeing it then covering with oil....I kept quite a bit of my garden basil like that.  You can then use it in salad dressing, etc.  And, pesto freezes well.  We just hauled some out of the freezer to go on pasta for lunch.

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A really simple spinach omelette with a piece of toast.F1BD2CED-0BE0-4AD0-9E69-ACA921DEA2C6.thumb.jpeg.4dc777a4def98ea8567185af9924325b.jpeg


Thanks for the basil ideas, I gave a bunch away and puréed the rest, then popped it into ice cube trays in the freezer.

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I usually make these cheese gougere's for the Christmas and New Years holidays, but a few years back I started making them for Easter. And if we're lucky in the Pacific Northwest, like we are this year, I'll add some poached first of the season asparagus.  They started cutting asparagus in the Pasco and Walla Walla areas last week and it's just starting to show up.  It'll be about $1.75 a pound or so.  But other than nostalgia for the local asparagus crop, of course this time of year any asparagus is good.  The recipe calls for homemade mayonnaise but I've also substituted a bottled avocado oil mayonnaise that's delicious. I don't do anything fancy with the asparagus other than trim the stalks, blanch it a few minutes then chill and serve it on top of sliced cucumber.

Cheese Gougere's with Smoked Salmon Mousse-the recipe makes about 10 small gougere's

Cheese Gougeres with smoked salmon and asparagus.JPG


Gougeres (Pastry)

½ cup water

2 tbsp butter

½ tsp salt

½ cup flour

2 whole eggs

½ cup shredded Swiss cheese

1 whole egg beaten with 1 tsp. water

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese


Smoked Salmon Mousse-

4oz. softened cream cheese

4oz. Nova lox-style smoked salmon

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp chopped fresh dill

1 tsp snipped fresh chives

¼ cup whipping cream

Salt and pepper to taste



2 large eggs

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 ¼ cups olive oil

Salt and pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper


1 tsp snipped chives for garnish

1 tsp dill fronds for garnish




Heat the oven to 425 . Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.


In a saucepan bring the ½ cup water, butter, salt and cayenne to a boil. Pour in the flour and stir the dough very fast with a wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the saucepan, about two minutes.


Take the pan off the heat and add the eggs, one at a time, and beat the eggs into the dough with a wooden spoon until the eggs are fully incorporated. Stir in the Swiss cheese.


Using two spoons, form small balls of the dough about 1” in diameter and spoon onto the baking sheet. (You can also add the dough to plastic bag fitted with a piping tube and pipe the dough in 1” circles). Brush the gougere’s with the egg wash and sprinkle some of the parmesan on top.

Bake the gougere’s for 25 minutes until golden brown. Let the gougere’s cool before filling with the smoked salmon mousse.


Smoked Salmon Mousse-

Place the cream cheese, smoked salmon, lemon juice, dill and chives in a food processor and pulse until blended and smooth. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper and stir in the cayenne. In another bowl beat the whipping cream until stiff and then fold into the salmon mixture.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.



Place the eggs, salt, lemon juice and mustard in a blender. Pulse just a few seconds until the mixture is combined. With the blender at low speed, (place the top on but leave the hole open), slowly drizzle in the olive oil. As the mayonnaise starts to thicken, increase the speed and continue to add more olive oil until the mayonnaise is thick. Stir in black pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


Cut each gougere in half and scoop out some of the inside dough. Spoon some of the smoked salmon mousse on the bottom layer and cover with the top layer. (You can also pipe the salmon mousse onto the bottom of the gougere using a plastic bag fitted with a pastry tube).


Place the gougere’s on a serving platter. Spoon some of the mayonnaise around the platter. Garnish the plate with some snipped chives and dill fronds.



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9 hours ago, Duvel said:

Ella, Sri Lanka: Freshly fried cashews with Curry leaves, followed by a fish curry with chapatis ... Lion Lager to moisten it all 😋




Oh my! Checking my AMEX points!  Jealous!  Frying the curry leaves like  sage makes culinary sense

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I must say, the only thing I truly miss after going Gluten Free are my pizza's.


Seeing these fantastic pizza shots does not help matters!  I need a 'Pizza filter', mods! ;)


Re: the Basil Glut - I have used Italian basil many times as a substitute for Holy Basil in the famous (and equally delicious) Thai dish - Pad Kra Pao.  Very easy to make and it is absolutely delicious! 




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12 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

Like @David Ross , I made gougères.  But I made them last week so they had gotten a little stale by today.  Upscale Squirrel loves Jacques Pepin gougères:


Ha Kim we think alike!  The squirrels love my yard, lots of big trees and a lawn where they can plant their findings and come back for a snack months later.  And yes, I to put out stale gougere's for the little devils.  

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Some recent dinners....


SV salmon with viet style ataulfo mango salad (similar to thai som tum but with more fresh herbs):



Red curry chicken - Maesri red curry paste with added grachai, thai basil and chilis, using frozen coconut milk:



Thai stir fry of what the H-mart called "bok choy tips"...


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14 hours ago, Ann_T said:


Pizza Night.


Mushroom and Italian Sausage for Moe and I. 


and  Greek Potato



for Matt  

pizza looks really good - a lot of your meals are executed pretty perfectly 


Question: did you use all purpose flour and or 00 Caputo or a different flour? And..would you happen to know the protein content of the flour you are using offhand? thank you 


I imagine that the circle shape for stretching the dough depends on higher protein/gluten for elasticity? 



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