Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby mtbturtle on April 5th, 2015, 2:14 pm 

Image
sourdough waffles by mtbturtle101,


Sourdough Waffles (or Pancakes)

Overnight sponge

2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup sourdough starter, unfed

Waffle or pancake batter

all of the overnight sponge
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Watson on April 5th, 2015, 3:23 pm 

How do you get the sour dough starter?
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby mtbturtle on April 5th, 2015, 3:34 pm 

Watson,

you make your own -There are all kinds of sourdough recipes, methods

King Arthur has a page on all things sourdough
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Darby on April 6th, 2015, 1:37 pm 

Sourdough is both an art and a science, and can be a lot of fun. Definitely a gateway hobby for serious aficianados of breadmaking, and homebrewing.

------------------

Dinner tonite will be my Grilled Boneless Mustard Chicken Thighs. It's a great recipe that's fast and easy to make, and very adaptable to many dishes. Party and catering friendly, and scales up/down easily.

2 lbs Chicken Thighs, boneless & skinless, butterflied to even thickness
---
2 fl oz Prepared Yellow Mustard (ex: French's Yellow Mustard)
2 fl oz Pineapple Juice
2 tsp Simple Syrup (alt: corn or agave syrup, or honey)
2 tsp Dry White Wine (ex: Sake)
2/3 tsp Med Kosher Salt
Optional: some dried thyme

Directions:
1) Trim and butterfly boneless thighs, and crosshatch on boned side to even thickness, for even penetration of marinade and even cooking sans curling. Place thighs in large non-reactive bowl, cut sides up, and set aside.
2) Shake marinade in small jar until well mixed, pour over thighs, and toss well until covered.
3) Marinate 30 mins at room temperature, or up to 36 hours in fridge (removing from fridge 30 mins prior to grilling, to shed excess cold). Drain/shake off and discard excess marinade, and spray generously with oil.
4) Preheat cast iron griddle plate (preferred) or grill (less so) until very hot, then brush clean and oil well. Place fillets skinned side down (less likely to stick) in a single layer, close lid, and griddle over med-high heat until tops begin to weep, spray with more oil, then turn over and cook deboned side 1-2 mins more until juices run clear and meat is opaque inside. Remove immediately. For maximum juciness, serve or chill promptly.
5) Serve hot or cold, whole, sliced or chopped, either as is, in wraps, tacos, wraps, sandwiches, in stiry fry, atop salads (ex: waldorf), over pasta or rice, in soup, etc.

Comments: there's actually a fair amount of food science that went into this dish. There are other mustard chicken recipes out there, but this one has been finessed for flavor balance and technique - it cooks fast & easy, the sugar is used mostly for browning and as an osmotic moisture loss inhibitor, and the acidity adds brightness and tightens the surface proteins to help (in conjunction with the slight sweetness and salt) retain moisture. The thyme pairs nicely with the mustard and pineapple, and adds savory complexity that also plays nice with maillard reaction (browning). The ingredients are always easy to find on short notice, and as long as you dont over or under cook it, it's fairly idiot proof, the leftovers go with just about everything, and it's far enough out in left field to get some oohs and aaah when you serve it to people who've never had it before. It's a win win recipe.

Mustardchicken_lr.jpg

Sorry about the blurry photo ... it's from last summer, and the lens was apparently dirty.
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Darby on April 6th, 2015, 2:54 pm 

Starch tonite with be white quinoa and scallion pilaf, which I make with half strength chicken stock, and lightly dress with a little honey and lime juice and some chipped butter, when I fluff it after it's stream rest.

Liquid ratio is 1:2 ... in other words, 1 pint quinoa (rinse and drain) to 2 pts half strength chicken broth. For the dressing about 20 grams honey to 15-20 grams lime juice.

Do the pilaf (sweat scallions in butter followed by drained quinoa), then add the hot liquid, bring to boil, simmer uncovered approx 15 mins or until liquid is absorbed, cover and shut off heat, let stand 5 mins, transfer to large work bowl, dress and fluff with paddle.

Easy peasy.
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Darby on April 6th, 2015, 3:53 pm 

4) Preheat cast iron griddle plate (preferred) or grill (less so) until very hot, then brush clean and oil well. Place fillets skinned side down (less likely to stick)


Some food science on the above ... counterintuitively, the chicken actually does not stick in the step above, despite the presence of a large surface area and a somewhat gloppy marinade that includes a little scorch-prone sugar, because of something called the Leidenfrost effect. By using a griddle plate instead of a grill, preheating it fully, lubricating it, and grilling the smoothest side (skin side) first, the Leidenfrost effect can be taken partial advantage of to prevent sticking. Oh trust me, the marinade that drips off the chicken will stick and char, but the chicken itself will not, as long as you ride the temperature of the griddle plate effectively.

Image

Ok, fresh photos, since last year's was blurry ...

Mustchic1_lr.jpg


Mustchic2_lr.jpg


I didnt use any thyme in this batch.
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Darby on April 9th, 2015, 12:09 pm 

I have part of an uncut slab of rind-on bacon that's getting a little old, so to use it up I think I'll make a rustic japanese style stew ... basically, I'll cube and braise the belly for about 90 mins in some weak chicken broth with a little onion, strain the broth, then add some diced daikon and white winter melon, and simmer 30 mins more until everything is fork tender ... and garnish it with a little miso paste and scallion (and perhaps some bok choy for a little crunch).

I've made it before ... if I find an old pic, I'll post it.
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Braininvat on April 9th, 2015, 1:12 pm 

I suspect this doesn't fit here, the place being pretty carnivorous, but I've lately been enjoying vegan meals in which nut butters play a major role. I hate soy (and it makes me slightly ill), avoid many kinds of beans, so am always interested in nuts as a source of protein. Sunflower butter seems especially tasty. Can't eat vegan all the time, though - after a while, I feel tired and tend to overeat and gain weight - so I have to bring in the cheese, eggs, and poultry to get the whole protein thing. I could go vegetarian, but not vegan. (neither the sigboth nor I really cook - I just never got much beyond the basics and she is a musician and has that odd scheduling that means the sacrifice of some domesticity)
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Darby on April 9th, 2015, 1:27 pm 

Not out of place at all. I am omnivorous, but I have plenty of vegetarian and vegan dishes in my repitoire.

Southern indian cuisine in particular is a wellspring of ideas, if you need a direction to pursue. Also true of malay cuisine, to a lesser degree.

Nuts, nut meal and nut butters work well in many sauces, soups, dips, stirfry and lo mein dishes. Ive barely gotten out of first gear in this thread, trust me.
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Darby on April 14th, 2015, 2:13 pm 

Last night was vertically roast chicken & potatoes. I also had about a pint left of a 1 qt container of peeled garlic, so I made a foil pouch and roasted that too (with oil, salt and a tiny splash of water) to make a small container of roasted garlic spread.

This morning I turned the chicken leftovers into 3 pints of chicken stock, and 3/4 qt of chicken salad (I also added a little minced dried cranberry and minced walnuts to the latter, to perk it up).

Lunch today I made a quart of Ginisang Ampalya ... instead of rice I slathered some of the garlic spread on a piece of whole grain toast.

I'll try to post photos of the Ampalya in a bit.
Last edited by Darby on April 14th, 2015, 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Darby on April 14th, 2015, 2:30 pm 

Ginisang Ampalya is a filipino dish featuring bitter melon, onions & tomato, with a little garlic and ginger and fish sauce, finished with eggs. Bitter melon can be used full strength in strong dishes like bitter melon with beef in black bean oyster sauce, but in a more delicate dish like this, the bitterness of the melon needs to be tamed a bit first, so here's a bowl of flesh that I deseeded, sliced, brined, squeezed out, and then reserved ... which cuts the bitterness by almost half.

Ginisangampalys2_lr.jpg


The rest of the ingredients ...
Ginisangampalya1_lr.jpg


And the finished dish ...
GinisangAmpalya3_lr.jpg


It's pungently bitter, but not overwhelmingly so, and (aside from the egg yolks), it's very healthy. The garlic and fish sauce are the magic connecting flavors that tie everything together in this dish. If I'd had some baby shrimp, I'd have tossed those in too.

Once you've prepped the melon, the dish only takes 10 mins to cook, tops.
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Darby on April 21st, 2015, 12:51 pm 

I've had a 1 lb slab of rind on bacon around in my fridge for a bit, so I decided to use it up by making a rustic Japanese style stew: braised pork belly soup with daikon, white winter melon and chopped daikon greens.

Very easy to make: dice 1lb pork belly into 1" cubes, add water to cover by 1", braise covered 60 mins until almost fork tender, then add 1 qt peeled diced daikon (1" dice) and enough additional water to keep everything float, and a teaspoon of chicken glace concentrate (alt: make some dashi broth or use leftover instant udon soup packets) and braise covered 20 mins more, then add 1 qt peeled diced white winter melon and 1 cup diced carrots (plus additional water if needed) and braise covered for 15 mins more, then add the rinsed and chopped daikon greens and simmer a final 5 mins. Stir in a little miso paste to taste, and you're good to go.

That's an example of classic home-style japanese or korean cooking, of the sort you almost never see here in American restaurants.

Photo upon request, if anyone's interested.
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby mtbturtle on April 26th, 2015, 8:00 pm 

Pistachio crusted lamb chops Ursa makes these for me with buttermilk blue cheese smashed potatoes and spinach

Imagepistachio lamb
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby BioWizard on April 26th, 2015, 8:02 pm 

looks amazing
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Darby on April 27th, 2015, 7:00 am 

Awesome ! :-)

Some years back I'd Frenched a lot of lamb racks back when I was helping a friend get his catering business going (I remember one event for 100+ ppl where I had to do 25 racks), and one of my favorite ways I learned to do lamb ribeye chips is to remove every other bone in a rack, tie it on either side of the remaining ribs to plump them and keep the shape regular, then separate the rack into 4 double-thick chops and grill or pan sear as desired and finish in the oven while you plate everything else. A little spritz of a sprightly English style mint sauce (a strained mix of muddled mint, simple syrup & rice vinegar, with a little salt) brightens it up and cuts through the slightly fatty note. Very popular dish. It was one of the passed apps I ordered for my own wedding.

Havent made it in almost a year, but I probably will very soon, and will post pics when I do.
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Braininvat on April 27th, 2015, 11:42 am 

There are foods I don't eat, but that doesn't mean they stopped looking incredibly delicious. Pistachio-crusted lamb chops would definitely make me rethink. If it was free-range livestock, I would recalibrate my Green meme a bit. I've kind of backslid anyway, as my sigboth likes the occasional burger and presents it as (a) just once or twice a month, and (b) organic grassfed Angus. As for the mash, am already a fan of buttermilk mashed taters and would like to try adding the stinky cheese. I've done some weird additions to mash taters, including stirring in tahini and a hint of honey to soften the bitterness of the sesame.
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Darby on April 27th, 2015, 5:35 pm 

Ah, the hapless children of Cain ... who was cast out of Eden after killing his meat loving brother Abel in a soy-based estrogen-fueled rage {re: the Almighty snubbed his vegan fare in favor of Abel's offering of sizzling fatted calf ... Genesis 4:2-4:5}.

Sorry ... a little Old Testament humor. I do vegetarian/vegan a couple times a month, so I'm poking fun at myself too. ;^)

As for mash, have you tried melting a little cream cheese and powdered rosemary with the butter ? Works well.

There are endless ways to do mash.
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Braininvat on April 28th, 2015, 9:51 pm 

True that. Will try the rosemary, thanks.
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Watson on May 26th, 2015, 2:47 pm 

I have been told several times by the Dr. to limit the amount of meat, red in particular. Red meat once a week seems rather drastic, but that is what is recommended. But now seeing a number of video and talks on the increasing meat consumption and a correlation to increasing health related issues. It made me wonder about cutting out the animal protein. I have already cut out a lot of the processed foods. I'm discovering new foods and ways of cooking them.
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Darby on May 26th, 2015, 9:20 pm 

Watson » May 26th, 2015, 2:47 pm wrote:I have been told several times by the Dr. to limit the amount of meat, red in particular. Red meat once a week seems rather drastic, but that is what is recommended. But now seeing a number of video and talks on the increasing meat consumption and a correlation to increasing health related issues. It made me wonder about cutting out the animal protein. I have already cut out a lot of the processed foods. I'm discovering new foods and ways of cooking them.


Cholestrol is a complex hot button topic for many.

The fact of the matter is that your body makes most (but not all) of the cholesterol that shows up in typical bloodwork, and food intake has only a moderate effect, at best, on said numbers. Diet helps, but only to a point.

Rather than going crazy with dietary manipulation that sucks too much joy out of daily life, I prefer to do the following:

> Rather than eliminating them entirely, I try to limit foods that are high{er} saturated fat (ex: prime red meat, bacon, stilton, coconut, liverwurst, etc) by enjoying them in moderation {read: as an occasional treat, rather than as a regular staple}. Also, if you do eat beef, and dont mind the added expense, go with grass fed over grain fed ... it's lower in saturated fat.

> Increase foods that are known to help promote good (hdl) cholesterol: deep cold water fish like salmon and herring, nuts & seeds, and fish oil supplements (esp ones that favor DHA over EPA).

> Take care of your liver, which is where cholesterol is processed/produced in the bodly. Limit alcohol & highly refined sugars/starches, exercise to tolerance, be mindful of drug interactions, etc.

Bottom line: the difference between having beef once a week vs twice a week is negligable in the larger scheme of things ... more so if the beef in question is grass fed. Enjoy your occasional steak and don't worry overmuch ... there are probably better targets on your intake and lifestyle list you can adjust to better effect, trust me.
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Darby on May 27th, 2015, 10:29 pm 

Sorry to have been scarce lately ... real life and health issues have been intruding of late. :-/

Dinner tonite was salad: romaine as the base, spruced up with diced avocado, some chopped walnuts, blanched chopped green beans, homemade croutons, diced tomato, some diced leftover grilled sausage, and a quick shaken dressing of pineapple juice, canola oil, sesame oil, balsamic, and a little dijon mustard.

Dinner tomorrow will be dictated by the fact that half my eagerly awaited Egyptian creeping onions fell over, so I'm either making zarusoba (garnished generously with lots of chopped onion greens), or mapudoufu (ditto).

Mint's growing like mad too, so I'll probably make a pint of my chimichurri-inspired pesto (I use parsely, cilantro and mint in place of basil, and a lot less garlic).
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby BadgerJelly on May 27th, 2015, 11:36 pm 

Last night in my dream I was eating a chilled fruit and sherbert omelette with George Bush. It was delicious!!
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Darby on May 28th, 2015, 6:43 pm 

Badger Jelly: You need professional help. ;^)

Dinner tonite was Zarusoba, with a salad for dessert.

Dinner tomorrow will be Vagni Bhat (sp?), which is a spicy Indian rice pilaf with egg plant, spices, lemon, chopped cashews, and lots of herbs. I'll probably get a small container of sour cream or yogurt for a garnish.

Oh, and now that it's spring, I have to do a big pot of ratattouille and a basket of bruschetta.
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Braininvat on May 29th, 2015, 12:35 pm 

Can we change this thread title to Drooling Over Darby's Dinner?

Hope your health is on the mend, D. If health were only a matter of eating well, you'd be Jack LaLanne. (did i just age myself?)
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Drooling over Darby's Dinner.

Postby Watson on May 29th, 2015, 1:44 pm 

No kidding. I wish I lived closer, .................and that he liked me. Even if I never heard of it.
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby vivian maxine on May 29th, 2015, 2:44 pm 

Darby. two words in your OP took me back to a town I used to live in. All up and down the street, in the shopping center, wherever we turned, there was "foreign cuisine". Chinese, Italian, Greek, keep going. But nowhere could we find a restaurant that served good old-fashioned American food. It was our constant complaint. How about an American food restaurant, we'd ask. Then Bob Evans came to town. :-)
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Darby on May 31st, 2015, 10:52 pm 

vivian maxine » May 29th, 2015, 2:44 pm wrote:Darby. two words in your OP took me back to a town I used to live in. All up and down the street, in the shopping center, wherever we turned, there was "foreign cuisine". Chinese, Italian, Greek, keep going. But nowhere could we find a restaurant that served good old-fashioned American food. It was our constant complaint. How about an American food restaurant, we'd ask. Then Bob Evans came to town. :-)


Deceptively complex topic ... what exactly constitutes "American Cuisine" ?

New England Seafood ?
Sub-regional BBQ ? (Texas, Carolina, etc.)
Californized {insert Food/Ethnic style here ... pizza, French, Japanese, etc} ?
Italian-American (very different from Northern Italian & Sicilian/Southern Italian) ?
Chuckwagon/Cowboy/Campfire Cuisine ?
Americanized "Chinese Take Out" (bearing little resemblance to authentic Chinese cuisine) ?
Louisiana Cajun & Creole ?
American-originated fast food chain ?
American "pub grub" ?
et al.

I don't think there's an easy answer, aside from "American Food" depends on where in America they grew up, what the predominant regional ethnicity was during their formative childhood, and perhaps someone's socio-economic status early on in life.

I grew up on the water, and helped supply the household by fishing and clamming, so for me, softshell and hardshell clams, clam chowder, bluefish, flounder, striped bass and lobster are the food of my youth ... something I helped forage for, rather than paying for in a restaurant. That's the household regional cuisine I grew up with, supplemented with local italian american and pub grub staples (and no, I'm not Italian).
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Watson on June 6th, 2015, 4:48 pm 

Acorn squash are so flavorful, if you get a good one, but they can also be so bland. In the store they look the same. Do they need to ripen further on the inside?
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Darby on June 6th, 2015, 6:48 pm 

Watson » June 6th, 2015, 4:48 pm wrote:Acorn squash are so flavorful, if you get a good one, but they can also be so bland. In the store they look the same. Do they need to ripen further on the inside?


AFAIK, most winter squash do not ripen further once removed from the vine.

One of my fave ways to do acorn squash:

* Preheat oven to 400F.
* Halve and core 2-3 acorn squash, and place cut side up in a foil lined rimmed baking sheet or shallow roasting pan.
* Spray cut sides generously with oil, followed with a light drizzle of dark sesame oil.
* Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and turbinado sugar.
* Drizzle the insides lightly with maple syrup or honey (or a sweet dessert wine), and add a knob of butter to each.
* Add 1/8th" hot water to the rimmed baking sheet, carefully slide into the oven.
* Roast at 400F until fork tender and golden brown (approx 70 mins). Tent with foil and let par cool.
* Serve as is, or remove from rinds and mash or puree with a little butter.

Not the most original recipe, but delicious.

BTW, many varieties of winter squash dont need to be roasted or pureed ... you can dice them into soups in place of turnips or potatoes, and they're great in certain indian dishes like curried red lentil soup.
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Re: Culinaria: What's for dinner ?

Postby Watson on June 6th, 2015, 7:56 pm 

Sounds good. Next time I do find a flavorful one I'll save the seeds. I prepher the Acorn but the Butternut seems to be a more consistent flavor.
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