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Improving my cooking skills (2003)


MatthewB
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ok, i'm a slacker. blame it on the tequila :wacko: .

never made it to the fish market this weekend. I think i'll try for next weekend after all the relatives leave.

Slacker.

(I didn't make it, either. I might try for Wednesday night, as it is a three-generation tradition in my family to have a fish soup of some sort on Thanksgiving Eve.)

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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So, it's agreed that we're all slackers?  :biggrin:

Hey, I made it last night. And it was delicious-I made it w/ crab & red snapper. Of course I did not follow the recipe but it still feels like we are cooking together anyway. I really like this idea.

Yeah, but did you bake any bread?

I didn't think so, slacker! :smile:

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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So, it's agreed that we're all slackers?   :biggrin:

Hey, I made it last night. And it was delicious-I made it w/ crab & red snapper. Of course I did not follow the recipe but it still feels like we are cooking together anyway. I really like this idea.

Yeah, but did you bake any bread?

I didn't think so, slacker! :smile:

Busted. :biggrin:

I did, however, serve it w/ a fresh Acme Sourdough Batard, so at least I dined well.

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Wow, what a satisfying dish, especially when you consider the effort-to-effect ratio. (I made it Sunday morning.)

I used steamer clams, scallops and cod in a half-'n-half clam juice/chicken broth base, per Dave. I think the chicken broth gave the base a nice depth without overpowering it--I'll definitely continue to use this combination with seafood soups. I only bought half as much seafood as the recipe calls for so I could have three meals this week using half the broth and freeze the rest. The broth is so good on its own, I may just forego adding seafood when I reheat it.

I substituted lemon thyme for the thyme, which turned out to be a nice accent, and I also added tomato paste (picked up on my last TJs trip, amazingly cheap and in a convenient squeeze tube) to the broth. I decided to put the paste in with the tomatoes instead of sauteeing it with the onion/garlic/scallions, since its consistency was much more liquid than other tomato pastes I've used. My food processor handled the rouille just fine, except that I forgot to add the egg yolk as directed and then wondered why the emulsion wasn't coming together... but I threw it in at the end and all was well! I thought this recipe made a LOT of rouille relative to the stew, but now I have a great party dip/spread at the ready.

I did not bake any bread because: a) I was also making my T'giving contribution and didn't have time; and b) I had frozen baguette in the freezer, which was an acceptable substitute. Not as good as fresh, but since the slices were toasted within an inch of their lives I don't think it made that much difference.

I usually find seafood soups and stews to be better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to meld, but in this case I liked it better the first day. All the fresh, pure notes really stood out individually while creating a harmonious whole. I agree with Seth--this one's a keeper.

This weekend I assume we're taking a break for Thanksgiving, in which case I'll backtrack and make the beef bourguignon AND a baguette. I happened to come across the Seventh Moon wine MatthewB's wine guy recommended on my NYC trip and picked up a bottle, along with a different Pinot Noir for drinking. If anyone is up for doing a new recipe, though, I'm game, since my family celebrated T'giving on Sunday.

Erin
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Good luck Matthew!

Scott is deep frying our turkey. I am still on the fence about sides, but here's what I've come up with so far:

Roasted brussels sprouts

Creamed pearl onions. They will be caramelized before being immersed in cream sauce - really yummy.

Cranberry-dried cherry compote with cloves

Giblet apple stuffing with sage. This is a family recipe and I dare not change it.

Mashed potatoes.

Some kind of pie.

My sister-in-law is bringing an appetizer and an apple cake.

Does it need another dish? Some other green thing?

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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I'm going to do the turkey galantine for Thanksgiving.

Now you tell me!

I've decided I'm not doing it. I'm doing a traditional bird, in the traditional brine it and roast it way.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Okie doke . . .

I've a 14 pound turkey (again, thanks Alex!) in the fridge.

Alex had it in the freezer.

My hunch is that it will *not* be thawed in time for deboning on Thursday.

Here's my theory . . .

Tomorrow night, put turkey in a cooler and surround it with water that's between 30 to 34 degrees F.

Am I hankering for bacteria?

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I did, however, serve it w/ a fresh Acme Sourdough Batard, so at least I dined well.

Slackers don't eat Acme Sourdough Batard (or levain, or Acme anything, for that matter).

If I lived the few blocks my sister in Berkeley lives from Acme, I would never bake bread. No reason to. It, unfortunately, has set a standard for me that is unachievable in Minneapolis.

When I visit my sister, I ususally bring home an entire duffle of this wonderful stuff.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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And just to prove that I am truly a slacker . . .

I've no idea yet as to what I'm serving on Thursday other than the galantine.

:hmmm:

I'm in the absolute same boat, and I'm cooking for 20, including dessert!!!

I'm taking tomorrow off, so tonight and/or tomorrow morning will be spent sifting through the November cooking mags, Epicurious, cookbooks, etc.

I've only 10 to cook for.

Edited by MatthewB (log)
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Okie doke . . .

I've a 14 pound turkey (again, thanks Alex!) in the fridge.

Alex had it in the freezer.

My hunch is that it will *not* be thawed in time for deboning on Thursday.

Here's my theory . . .

Tomorrow night, put turkey in a cooler and surround it with water that's between 30 to 34 degrees F.

Am I hankering for bacteria?

running water will thaw it quicker (thermodynamics; it's kind of the same principle as a convection oven).

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I did, however, serve it w/ a fresh Acme Sourdough Batard, so at least I dined well.

Slackers don't eat Acme Sourdough Batard (or levain, or Acme anything, for that matter).

If I lived the few blocks my sister in Berkeley lives from Acme, I would never bake bread. No reason to. It, unfortunately, has set a standard for me that is unachievable in Minneapolis.

When I visit my sister, I ususally bring home an entire duffle of this wonderful stuff.

You do know it is everywhere in the Bay Area, don't you? Every corner store, even Safeway sells a full line of Acme, SemiFreddi's, Grace and assorted others. Amazingly, people can still adhere to the Aitkin's diet out here; they must have steel willpower.

I still do like baking bread every now and again. It's fun and it smells so good.

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here's my menu:

chopped liver and some cheeses

Chex party mix that my mom made

smoked turkey - i make a paste of garlic, rosemary, bacon, sage, and lemon peel in the food processor and stuff it under the skin. the turkey is brining now, and i'll take it out and let it sit overnight to dry the skin out.

smoked lamb sausage

shrimp and grits scantland style - let the grits set up into a cake, brush the top with duck fat and broil. spoon red eye gravy and shrimp over the top.

mashed potatoes - i'm going to add some parmagianno regianno to them

gomae - spinach salad w/ sesame seeds

pearl onion gratin

corn

grilled asparagus w/ sherry vinegrette

sausage dressing - my dressing last year was really good but i have no idea how i made it.

my sister is making some sort of salad

Rosy Levy Berenbaum's Gossamer Pear Charlotte Royale.

Marilyn McArthur's Layered Cheesecake Pumpkin Torte for the pumpkin traditionalists

a few dozen Cloverleaf Rolls.

my oven is broken so this will be a real challenge :wacko:

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You guys seem to have done duck lately, I picked up the last wretched frozen duck at the commissary when I got my turkey the other day. I'm thinking about throwing it in the smoker with the turkey, but have some questions. Should I brine it (turkey already being brined)? Should I put it on the top rack of the smoker, over the turkey & let the duck fat sort of baste the turkey? or should I put a pan underneath it to catch the fat? I'm thinking that lots of duck fat in my water pan might not be a good thing. I know I need to poke it all over to let the fat escape, but do I need to attempt subcutaneous fat removal?

It came with a packet of orange sauce (which will be tossed) & wild rice stuffing (after looking at the ingredients, this may be salvageable).

Any & all advice welcomed...

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You guys seem to have done duck lately, I picked up the last wretched frozen duck at the commissary when I got my turkey the other day.  I'm thinking about throwing it in the smoker with the turkey, but have some questions.  Should I brine it (turkey already being brined)?

I have no smoking tips for you, but I can tell you that you should not brine a duck. The brining process is intended to replace the flavor and moisture of fat. The duck has oodles of fat to spare.

I'm right, aren't I, Dave?

Good luck with the turkey and duck!

I would post my T'giving menu here, but I've been posting it all over the place so I'll refrain.

Edited by SethG (log)

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Seth, I haven't seen your Thanksgiving menu. :blink:

FWIW, Guajolote gave me some tips on roasting a whole turkey for the first time.

It turned out great & it was super easy. 14 pd bird pulled at 161 degrees F after 2.5 hours in the oven.

G tipped me off on Alton Brown's "Good Eats Roast Turkey."

In yesterday's SF Chronicle Food section, I found Alice Waters' "Best Way Brined Turkey."

I cooked via Brown & prepped (& used ingredients) from Waters.

I think this will be hard to improve on.

Thanks, G! :wub:

(And I washed all the dishes rather than listen to--let alone engage in-the much too long conversation that revolved around religion & politics. :smile: )

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