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A Year of Cooking, And I'm Using (blank) More Than Ever Before


weinoo
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Since I've hunted, gathered, prepped, shopped, cooked, plated (and cleaned up) or did whatever it took to get something like 1300 meals on the table for the two of us (oh, the joys of working from home) since mid-March, 2020, I have certainly come to be fond of a few things more than I'd ever been (or at least noticed more than ever before).

 

Shallots and chives are a necessity now. They will always be in the larder. They weren't necessarily before.

 

Do you have any new, I can't be without this stuff now? 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Sauces.  I learned how to make pan sauces and the mother sauces off Youtube during shutdowns.  Now sauces are normal at our table.

 

I've just started with chimichurri's and other veg based sauces.

 

On a side note, kitchen scraps are now turned into broths for use in making sauces..  So I've been using kitchen scraps more than ever.

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29 minutes ago, lemniscate said:

On a side note, kitchen scraps are now turned into broths for use in making sauces..  So I've been using kitchen scraps more than ever.

 

Yes.  During the cooler months, weekly delivery meant lots of trimmings of veg. Those, added to the week's worth of saved miscellaneous ends, tips, unused stuff, etc. turned the delivery day into stock making day as well.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Shortcuts. I'm so burned out on cooking that I take shortcuts that I never would have in the past. I use Penzey's spice blends a lot. I can sprinkle on whatever protein and or vegetables I am cooking. And cooking now usually means roasting because it is easier.

 

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Deb

Liberty, MO

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I'm cooking more, and more interesting stuff. But I still don't know how to make sauces. Should take a few hints from @lemniscate! 😅

 

Edited to add: Do you make more sauce than you need (so you have some for the next day or two) ?

Edited by TdeV
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I am using SV to cook larger cuts of meat (read multiple portions from one chunk) significantly more than before. And then use in multiple dishes.

 

Condiment-wise I ramped up my consumption of: crispy fried onions (IKEA), mayonnaise (Kewpie), pickles (various) and chili crisp (Lao Gan Ma).

 

And - as @Maison Rustique mentioned - I use more convenience products. Pretty much exclusively carbs: ready made filled pasta, (German) potato products (Knödel, Schupfnudeln, even sometimes mashed potatoes).

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My son is cooking - a gift I'm not sure we would have gotten otherwise.  He's mastered grilled fish (thanks to the Philips infrared grill!), is having fun with burgers, is experimenting with calzones. He got into my stash of cookbooks and routinely sends me a shopping list for curbside pick up.  He's gaining confidence and I am thrilled :)

 

Back on thread though - I have two quick-to-make dishes that are new to the repertoire - a spicy pork noodle soup that means we have introduced korean gochujang bean paste and black vinegar in our pantry now; and a Food52 orzo/tomato/chickpea dish that doesn't require anything new but is nice because it's quick and  you can add whatever protein you want if you choose although I've been asked to omit the garbanzos. So I throw in some RG beans if I have any leftover ;)

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Just now, Honkman said:

What do you do with chives so much ? There are definitely dishes which benefit from them but not too many. Whereas parsley and cilantro cover many dishes for us

 

While cilantro belongs in its own seasoning category, at least in my opinion, chives are better than parsley in most everything I cook.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Funny.   Shallots, chives, (Meyer) lemons always part of our larder.   Scraps always -> soup.    Sauces are simple once you accept a few basic processes.   Perhaps we should have a thread on the basic/master sauces.     Husband will eat anything that wears a savory sauce cloak.

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eGullet member #80.

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8 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Funny.   Shallots, chives, (Meyer) lemons always part of our larder.   Scraps always -> soup.    Sauces are simple once you accept a few basic processes.   Perhaps we should have a thread on the basic/master sauces.     Husband will eat anything that wears a savory sauce cloak.

 

But you haven't addressed the question the topic poses.

 

More likely, you've started one called "what's always done in my kitchen?"

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Frozen vegetables.   

 

I'd get these gigantic deliveries of vegetables, and I would then spend what seemed like a lot of time methodically blanching and freezing and packing.

 

My freezer used to be all protein, plus maybe a few leftovers;  now it tends to have a nice selection of frozen vegetables from the prior season, too.

 

So, I'm using more of 'em.

Edited by SLB (log)
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2 hours ago, weinoo said:

 

But you haven't addressed the question the topic poses.

 

More likely, you've started one called "what's always done in my kitchen?"

Sorry about that.   The pandemic had little affect on my cooking, neither ingredients nor frequency.   Same old, same old.   

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eGullet member #80.

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Instant yeast. 

 

Gochugaru and gochuchang (Korean pepper flakes and fermented pepper paste). I've been trying out cooking some Korean food, but also using gochugaru/gochuchang in other stuff, too, like marinades and salads.

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14 hours ago, Beebs said:

Instant yeast. 

 

Gochugaru and gochuchang (Korean pepper flakes and fermented pepper paste). I've been trying out cooking some Korean food, but also using gochugaru/gochuchang in other stuff, too, like marinades and salads.

 

Yes; I've certainly stocked my pantry with lots of spices I didn't use regularly.  

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I've been thinking about it for a while, and the only thing I can come up with is flour tortillas. Lunch on work days (ie, 350-odd days/year) is often whatever's left over in the fridge, rolled up in a tortilla. It may or may not be heated, depending on the contents (and the weather). Not directly related to the pandemic, I guess, but I'm fortunate in that my life has been minimally affected by it (I live in relatively-unscathed Atlantic Canada, and was already a work-from-home introvert, so...).

 

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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I'm hooked on Cajun blackening spice. I don't really blacken anything, but during lockdown I started using it for fish, shrimp, cajun banh mi and as a necessary ingredient in a pot of red beans.  Also we are eating a lot more red sauce which I make in quantity and freeze in portions. Spaghetti with sausage, spaghetti with cauliflower, and we are making pizza more often. Leftover pizza the next day can't be praised enough. Another thing we are buying and using more often is curry leaves. Curried cauliflower has become a staple. Oh, and root beer floats have become more routine in the time of covid. Ice cream and chocolate biscotti are taking up residence on a permanent basis.

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On 6/22/2021 at 7:04 AM, weinoo said:

Do you have any new, I can't be without this stuff now? 

 

Does my BlueStar count? Had it just a year now (or soon).

 

Enjoy it more every day. And I even enjoy cleaning it.

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Flat iron steaks. Even when there was no meat in the stores I had a couple dozen in the Fz.  Cheap, beefy and tender.

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