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Dinner! 2002


Priscilla
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"Or am I buying something else which I stupidly believe are garden peas?"

Well, they're in season now.  Are you saying you buy them year-round?

Kathy

"Save Donald Duck and Fuck Wolfgang Puck."

-- State Senator John Burton, joking about

how the bill to ban production of foie gras in

California was summarized for signing by

Gov. Schwarzenegger.

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Helena

I like my chicken to be falling off the bone, so I cooked it for about 90 minutes. I built the fire at one end of the weber (as opposed to the sides...even though the weber is round, this does make sense if you picture the grill itself..the 'sides' have the little slots for dropping in extra charcoal), using a good pile of charcoal and about 3 pieces of 2-inch diameter fruitwood (trimmings from the Asian pear treee)..let it burn down a bit, then put the chicken on breast side down at the other end and put the cover on. The fire was hot enough to brown the skin nicely, and I turned it a couple of times..also added the smaller trimmings for smoke...for the final 30 minutes, I put the wings on over more direct heat, moving them frequently so they wouldn't burn. As usual, the breast was a little dry, and next time I'll brine the whole chicken, but was in a hurry this time.

I use the standard-issue weber kettle (22 inches, I believe)

Priscilla

I've brined turkey, and there's been a lot of talk here about brining in general (thanks especially to col klink)...I was inspired this time by Gourmet's article about brining fresh salmon briefly....I plan to try that, too.

One thing to be careful about when brining smaller pieces like wings is how long you leave them in the brine...they can get too salty. I did the wings for about 30 minutes, and they had a definite salt tang...not too much, but I wouldn't want to leave them in much longer. I may also experiment with the salt content in the brine...this one was about a cup of kosher salt in 2 cups water (and 1 c br sugar)

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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Fresh cod (not trout, Priscilla!) topped with bread crumbs made from Tribeca Oven's caraway-inflected rye bread and garlic. Ohmygoodness, it was good. Salad. A few chocolates left over from the Pot-Luck last week. Sommer Gruner Veltliner. Lots of cat hair distributed throughout.

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Highly Americanized banh mi with D'Artagnan Peppercorn Mousse, homemade radish/jicama/carrot kim chi, fresh mint, baloney (well, I said "highly Americanized), sliced cucumber, cooked salami (ditto), cilantro, smoked turkey, and a sauce of mayonnaise, sriracha, and fish sauce, all on toasted hollowed-out hero rolls.  And salad of radicchio, endive, red Boston, and romaine, with a white balsamic/lemon thyme vinaigrette.

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Large prawns slowly poached in EVOO with sliced garlic, paprika, chilli flakes, parsley, and lemon.

Bitter greens tossed with lemon juice, sea salt, and EVOO, then topped with fresh goat cheese and flaked alder-smoked salmon.

Lasagna with bechamel, fresh ricotta, homemade pasta and wild mushrooms. Botton layer was portabellas and rosemary, second layer was shitake with thyme, thrid layer was golden chanterelles and garlic, top layer was huge morels.  All topped with parmigiano reggiano and baked until bubbly and golden.

Wines:

Gaudo al Tasso Vermentino

Muscadet

1988 Nalle Zinfandel

1990 Jasmin Cote Rotie

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in line with my recent "kick", we did baby back ribs and grilled corn on the cob (in the husk, without taking the silk off this time).  also, a vegetable slaw.  

the slaw was basically red and green cabbage, scallion, orange bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, red onion, with a light dressing of mayo, cider vinegar, and some german style mustard.  and s/p of course.  it lacked a certain zing though.  it was fine, but surely there is some way to really zip something like this up.  i'm thinking miso, or maybe a dried spice of some sort.  suggestions, of course, are welcome.

click me to see the ribs and slaw.

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I'd suggest a sprinkling of ground guajillo pepper, which usually does the trick with most things, including tonight's jicama, pear, and scallion salad. Not that we've tried any of it. Note to self: start thread on how cooking a dish minimizes desire to taste said dish.

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tommy, great photograph. I think the dish looked very good.

I'm partial to chipotle myself. For a quick fix, I use the tinned stuff and just buzz it with the adobo it comes in, add some shoyu for depth.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Beautiful baby backs, Tommy!

I also like chipotle (powdered - I use it so often it has no time to get stale).  But I put it in my rib rub and keep the slaw cool.

To enliven the dressing, add some sour cream.  A clove of garlic, minced fine.  Celery seed.  More mustard.

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Large prawns slowly poached in EVOO with sliced garlic, paprika, chilli flakes, parsley, and lemon.

Bitter greens tossed with lemon juice, sea salt, and EVOO, then topped with fresh goat cheese and flaked alder-smoked salmon.

Lasagna with bechamel, fresh ricotta, homemade pasta and wild mushrooms. Botton layer was portabellas and rosemary, second layer was shitake with thyme, thrid layer was golden chanterelles and garlic, top layer was huge morels.  All topped with parmigiano reggiano and baked until bubbly and golden.

Wines:

Gaudo al Tasso Vermentino

Muscadet

1988 Nalle Zinfandel

1990 Jasmin Cote Rotie

Ron, your dinner sounded absolutely heavenly, especially the wild mushroom lasagne (and the wines looked delicious, too), and the picture of tommy's ribs... yummm.  

For dinner tonight... sliced cucumber salad; pan fried chicken (using skinless boneless thighs) topped with a Marsala Cream Sauce with fresh Morels; parslied noodles.  Served out on the deck on a beautiful warm evening.

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Old London recipe last night: braised duckling with lettuce and peas.  I thought it was from late 19th/early 20th century, but having cooked it, I wondered if it was much older.  The manner of cooking the lettuce and peas, and using an egg yolk as one of the thickening ingredients in their sauce, gave the vegetables almost an Asian accent, and the duck was finished with a dusting of nutmeg.  It all began to seem quite mediaeval, but the book I got it from didn't have any scholarly sources for its recipes (T. Fitzgibbon, A Taste of London - probably long out of print).

Wilfrid - I bought a cooking book published in Edinburgh (1773) on the weekend, it has a recipe for chicken with peas and lettuce, much as you described for the duck recipe, so I can push back that origin of the recipe until at least the 18th C. Some of the other recipes in the book are rather medieval in flavour, so it may go back further, but I guess the origin of this recipe depends on when "modern-type" peas and lettuce came into being, I will look into it. The book has some other interesting recipes; "Goose cooked in the French manner" which is Goose Confit, what a pity that didn't take off in Britain and "Tame duck to taste like wild duck" - take a stick, beat duck to death, the blood will migrate to the flesh, so you won't be able to tell the difference between tame or wild duck. Nice eh.

Oh yes, dinner. Roasted red mullet (liver and roe eaten as well), spiced mashed potatos, salad. Cheap white wine with expensive Cassis.

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Summery in spite of last night's dismal grey weather:

Cold chicken slices dressed with Sichuan fish fragrant sauce (chile oil, spring onions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil)

Flowering broccoli stir-fried with garlic and sesame seeds

Steamed rice

Peanuts boiled in aromatic broth

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Chicken, butterflied, brushed with a mix of Dijon mustard, Damson plum jam, soy and olive oil, slow-grilled with a chunk each of mulberry and pecan for smoke

Salad of baby romaine, endive, raw mushrooms and sweet onion

New potatoes and spring onions, oven-roasted

Sugar snap peas, blanched briefly and tossed with a bit of dark sesame oil and black sesame seeds

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I used the Cook's Illustrated recipe for perfect pan fried chicken breast cutlets (s & p, then dip in flour, shake off excess and fry in a small amount of oil over med-high heat for about 3-4 min. ea. side), and just substituted skinless boneless thighs (cheaper and has great flavor).  It worked very well, however I did have to finish it off in the oven for a few minutes longer, which was ok, because that's when I made the cream sauce.

I just checked the recipe again, and it's not called pan fried, it's called Sauteed Chicken Breast Cutlets.  In my mind, I always think of saute as pan cooking at a lower temp, so tend to use the term pan fry more often when it's at a higher temp.  Now I'm curious...what's the difference between pan fry and saute?

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I've been working a lot, and this week promises to be another slew of late nights.  Joy.

But at least this past weekend I had off...

Saturday:  Red-cooked chicken; stir-fried rice; cabbage stir-fried with chilies, finished with a T. of garam masala and chopped cilantro; fruit.  For the stir-fried rice, take 2 to 3 cups of leftover cooked rice (you could do this with freshly cooked rice, but leftovers are best) and toss into a hot wok that already has a clove of browned minced garlic, a T. of shredded ginger root, and some sizzling peanut oil; stir-fry until golden brown (I like to do it until a slight crust forms on the rice); add your choice of chopped scallions (both white and green parts), shredded Smithfield ham; chopped Chinese black mushrooms (dried is best, reconsituted in a bowl of warm water); 1 or 2 beaten eggs; a dash of mushroom soy; or a handful of cooked green peas.  I like to keep things simple and usually limit it to just rice, garlic, ginger, peanut oil and scallions.  Stir-fried rice made this way also makes for a great breakfast dish (my mom used to make this for breakfast on weekends).

Sunday:  Leftover chicken which I shredded and combined with some scallions and chopped red and yellow bell peppers, cooked into an omelet; roasted potatoes, sprinkled with lemon juice, rosemary and salt; steamed broccoli.  Strawberries macerated in balsamic vinegar, 1 T. of sugar and a dash of cracked black pepper.

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Brandade, Wilfrid.  :wink: (Baccala or salt cod with Yukon Gold potatoes, garlic, white wine, cream, excellent EVOO, a bit of black pepper, pureed, put into ramikins and topped with crotouns, baked until crispy on top.) With shavings from a bottled black truffle and a drizzle of truffle oil. Asparagus roasted with balsamico.

edit:

Forgot to mention the flat leaf parsley.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Any chance youd come forth (fifth if youre feeling a bit slow) with the recipe for the roast chicken glazed with lemon honey and cardamon please?

Glazed Roast Chicken (serves 6 to 8)

For the cardamom butter:

1 stick of UNSALTED butter, softened

1 1/2 T. ground cardamom

1 t. ground cloves (optional)

Cream the butter with the cardamom (and ground cloves).  Chill and refrigerate, until ready to use.  (note from Soba:  I can't stress it enough.  Unsalted butter acts as a neutral canvas for flavor much in the same way that a painter uses a base coat of white on which to construct a painting.  If you use SALTED butter, the bird won't be as flavorful or as juicy when its finished.)

For the glaze:

1/2 c. acacia (or other type of) honey, gently warmed in a medium saucepan with a few T. of water, over low heat, until syrupy

1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Mix the lemon and the honey until well blended.  Set aside.

You can use any size roast chicken for this recipe.  Instead of giving hard and fast amounts, I'm giving a master recipe that you can adjust to your taste.  For the post you wrote about, I used a Perdue roaster, but you can also use cornish game hens.  Just reduce or adjust the amount of butter rub, and the glaze.  I stuffed the bird with sprigs of herbs, and some peeled, quartered onions.  Sometimes I'll use unpeeled garlic cloves (about 30 or 40).  Sometimes shallots, or lemons cut in half (either fresh or preserved).

Prior to roasting the chicken, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Rub the chicken or roaster with as much cardamom butter as you prefer.  Sometimes I like to slip in small pieces of butter underneath the skin, just for that extra burst of flavor.  It's up to you.

While the chicken is roasting, take out of the oven every so often and with a pastry brush, brush the chicken with as much glaze as you desire.  Roast until the pop-up timer on the roaster pops out (I suppose if you were using a meat thermometer, until 170 degrees (I think) or until juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a fork).

Transfer to a carving or cutting board, and let the chicken sit for up to 15 minutes before carving.  Serve (be sure to remove the stuffing, if any).

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Ok, this was more like a snack than dinner, but it was good, and it was easy (duh):  roasted asparagus, fresh strawberries with balsamic vinegar and black pepper, and ciabatta with goat cheese.  Yummy!

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"Tame duck to taste like wild duck" - take a stick, beat duck to death, the blood will migrate to the flesh, so you won't be able to tell the difference between tame or wild duck. Nice eh.

Adam, thanks for the information on the chicken dish.  As for the technique described above, I seem to remember Watson first comes across Holmes doing something similar to cadavers at Guy's Hospital in A Study In Scarlet.

Jinmyo - I don't suppose you had any leftover brandade to make bunuelos?  I would sprinkle just a little minced cilantro into my batter mixture, before dipping the balls of brandade and deep frying.   :smile:

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Wilfrid I made a great deal (bear in mind most meals described are for 15 to 25 servings). Had some on crostini as a snack.

Then whipped with more EVOO as a dip for thin crispy frites along with thinly sliced rare charred ribeye with a bulgogi sauce and grilled asparagus and scallions.

Enough left to deep-fry as an appetizer. Tomorrow.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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