What did you cook today?

Share your culinary creations, recipes, food knowledge, restaurant recommendations, etc.
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ronnie_suburban
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

I received a few small cucumbers in this week's CSA box and rather than make more pickles (the larder is well-stocked), I decided to give Smacked Cucumbers a try . . .

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Cucumbers & Dexter Cleaver
After they're washed and trimmed at both ends, the cucumbers are smacked then sliced, to help them take on the flavors of the dressing ingredients. But before that, they're dusted with salt and allowed to drain their excess moisture. I received this cleaver as a gift many years ago. I don't use it much but coming in at 1140g, it was the perfect tool for smacking! :D

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Salted & Drained Cucumbers
Minced garlic in one little bowl and a combination of soy sauce, Chinese vinegar, chili oil, sugar and toasted sesame oil in the other.

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Smacked Cucumbers
Everything mixed together, they are pretty darned good. I let them sit in the salt for about an hour but I might extend that next time to increase the flavor intensity.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Bob Z »

Wow Ronnie I think i watched them make those on ATK one day but never tried it, But now i have to go buy a Dexter cleaver i guess.
In the mean time, I made up a batch of Neiman Marcus and followed your brown butter no roll up in the fridge routine, and i gotta say they came out amazing! Ill never roll em up again, although I did run out of time yesterday and ended up rolling up some dough, and microwaved it til warmed up a bit and they came out great today also so maybe its the melted butter that does the trick?
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ronnie_suburban
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Bob Z wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 4:48 pm
Wow Ronnie I think i watched them make those on ATK one day but never tried it, But now i have to go buy a Dexter cleaver i guess.
In the mean time, I made up a batch of Neiman Marcus and followed your brown butter no roll up in the fridge routine, and i gotta say they came out amazing! Ill never roll em up again, although I did run out of time yesterday and ended up rolling up some dough, and microwaved it til warmed up a bit and they came out great today also so maybe its the melted butter that does the trick?
LOL - yeah, just what you need . . . a Dexter cleaver! :D At 2.5 pounds it is, by far, my heaviest kitchen blade. My friends bought it for me because I tend to smoke a lot of ribs and I didn't have what they considered to be the right tool for cutting the slabs. It certainly worked well on cucumbers. :lol:

Your cookies look great. I know there's a contingent of knowledgeable people out there who swear by cookie dough aging but my palate isn't sophisticated enough to discern the difference. I learned this when I made those Jacques Torres cookies, which aged for 72 hours before baking. I didn't think it was worth the wait but others swear by it. And yes, once chilled, you have to do something to soften the dough before baking it (unless you chill it in ready-to-bake form) because the dough gets as hard as cold butter.

I had a nice Sunday cooking and doing some projects around the house. Fwiw, here's a nicer shot of the smacked cucumbers . . .

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Smacked Cucumbers

These got better as the day went on. In fact, I'd intended to serve them with dinner but magically, they disappeared before then.

For dinner, it was roasted leg of lamb, which is something I rarely make but I'm trying to mix it up as much as I can . . .

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Purple Potatoes & Baby Onions
The potatoes were from our CSA box. The onions, a beautiful variety of yellow, red and white babies, were from another local farm that's owned by a friend of mine. Lightly oiled and seasoned, I used these as the roasting bed for the lamb.

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Boneless Leg Of Lamb
This came from Costco in an elastic net but I removed that so I could prep it.

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Seasoned Leg Of Lamb
Made a paste of evoo, garlic, kosher salt, oregano, thyme, red chili flakes and black pepper, which I spread all over the interior of the roast.

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Trussed Leg Of Lamb
Now I see why it came with an elastic net on it. Boned out, it's an unevenly shaped cut, so while my tying job wasn't pretty, it got the job done. Once the inside was covered with the paste and the leg was tied up, I spread the rest of the paste around the exterior, then augmented that with some additional salt and dried oregano. After that, I placed the lamb atop the potatoes and onions and into the oven it went (at 350F).

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Roasted Leg Of Lamb
Cooked it to 130F internal, which took about 2.5 hours. As you can see, it rendered quite a bit of fat. I separated the juices from the fat and used them to make a gravy.

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Lamb Fat Roux
To thicken the gravy, I combined the rendered fat with flour and made a roux. There was a lot of it, so all but a couple tablespoons of this got vacuum-sealed and went into the freezer for future use.

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Roasted Leg Of Lamb & Konosuke Fujiyama Blue #2 Sujihiki, Ebony, 270mm
Had to be careful using this knife on a poly board but the happily, it went fine. The roast was really tender and just too juicy to cut on my wood board.

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Plated Up
Roasted leg of lamb with pan gravy, roasted potatoes & onions and Mrs. Suburban's leftover tomatoey-garlickly okra, which tied the whole meal together! :D
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Jeff B »

Man that looks DELISH! How do you like that Kono Fuji Suji?
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.

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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Jeff B wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:09 pm
Man that looks DELISH! How do you like that Kono Fuji Suji?
Thanks. We're still getting acquainted and today's lamb ended up not being a great application for it because once the leg was untied, it separated on its own into a few smaller muscles. That said, the knife is exceptionally sharp and nimble, and it cuts smoothly without requiring very much downward force, though I could probably say the same of a lot of new knives. I'll have a more meaningful test for it later this week, when I'll have another side of cold-smoked king salmon (this time, Ora) to (hopefully) enjoy.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

For all the countless negatives, coronatime has resulted in newly-acquired access to a windfall of wild, locally-foraged mushrooms. Recently, I was fortunate enough to have a bounty of my favorites, Hen Of The Woods, delivered to my door . . .

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Hen Of The Woods Mushroom
This one was huge, around 2 pounds.

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Mushroom Press
This rare and sophisticated device does a nice job cooking the mushrooms. Evoo, salt, pepper and gravity.

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Cooked Up
Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside

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Onions & Tanaka Blue #2 Nashiji Gyuto, 210mm
Came up with an idea that was going to need some grilled onions.

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Hen Of The Woods Mushroom Sandwich
With provolone, grilled onions, mayonnaise and dijon mustard on buttercrust white toast.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

I had some expiring shrimp and ground pork (as well as a bunch of applicable vegetables) and decided, for whatever reason, that making egg rolls for dinner tonight would be a good idea. I'd never done this before . . .

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Mise En Place & Tanaka Blue #2 Nashiji Gyuto, 210mm
Everything except the oyster sauce, which stayed in the fridge until mix time. Leek, scallions, cabbage, carrots, ground pork, shrimp (later diced), eggs, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, bean sprouts, rehydrated glass noodles (draining here, later cut into bits), soy sauce, toasted sesame oil.

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Finished Filling
For this one, I put on a pair of lab gloves and did it by hand. Once mixed, I covered this and let it sit for a couple of hours.

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Filling The Wrappers
My primary source of guidance on this advised using just about 2 tablespoons of filling per roll. However, being impatient, it didn't take long before I was trying to cram more than than into each roll (which actually worked out fine). Beaten egg was used as the binder.

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In the end, we got 33 egg rolls . . . these 27, plus 6 more on a separate cookie sheet.

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Frying The Egg Rolls
Peanut oil, 350F. I was able to cook 7 or 8 per round, since no two were the exact same size or shape.

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Eggrolls
Not a bad result for a first-time effort.

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Plated Up
With a hot oil-garlic-soy-scallion dipping sauce and rice with some of the excess vegetables that didn't make it into the filling.
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Re: What did you cook today?

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ronnie_suburban wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:55 pm
Paul282 wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:49 pm
I've been thinking about upping my plating snd consequently plateware game a lot lately. Im digging a lot (read as: ALL) of your stuff Ronnie. Is most of your white plateware from a particular brand?

I like the bowl you have the hakka style stuffed peppers in. Ive got an itch to do a corn soup with seared scallops and would like to plate it similarly to what you did there. My only options currently are a deep bowl with scallops drowning in soup or a small plate with a thin layer of soup under scallops. I feel like I need something in-between a traditional bowl and a plate.

I guess what I need to look for is a pasta bowl?
Almost all of our whiteware is from Crate & Barrel. It's pretty old (because we registered for it when we got married and that was in 1995), so I'm not sure how much of it is still available or has been modified or discontinued. Back then, I think C&B resided at the lower end of the housewares price range but I don't think that's necessarily the case anymore. I was looking for soup bowls at their website recently and I was kind of surprised by how expensive they were.

But other than some user error-style drops, the 1995-vintage C&B stuff has held up really well. It doesn't chip or crack easily (or at all). Yes, that's a pasta bowl for the cacio e pepe but I'm not entirely certain it's from C&B, though, in general, they seem easy enough to google and procure. As for the piece the hakka peppers are in, it's actually a scalloped oval baker (scalloping similar to that on a souffle dish, all the way around its exterior are not visible in the shot). That, I'm pretty sure we did get at C&B but it doesn't look like that exact piece is available right now.

Fwiw, as much as we DO NOT need any additional pieces (just ask my wife :D), I've found some functional and attractive serving pieces recently at mtckitchen.com. Their prices are decent (and right now I think they're running a 20% off sale). But all of my purchases from them have been relatively recent, so I can't comment on durability.
Appreciate the feedback Ronnie. MTC Kitchen has quite a few pieces of tableware I like. Thanks for that recommendation as well.

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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Mike9 »

"Almost all of our whiteware is from Crate & Barrel. It's pretty old (because we registered for it when we got married and that was in 1995), so I'm not sure how much of it is still available or has been modified or discontinued"

I can relate - our whiteware is Mikasa from @ 30 yrs ago and long discontinued (I have no idea why) so to buy say two, or three replacement items off of ebay would cost more than the set cost new. I've lost a dinner plate and a bowl to (someone who has no concept of thermal properties) the microwave.

Believe me if I could find an acceptable replacement I'd buy them then sell these and have money left over - crazy!!

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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by mauichef »

More pickles!

Now I have the bread and pickles down, I just need to figure out cheesemaking!

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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

mauichef wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:18 pm
More pickles!

Now I have the bread and pickles down, I just need to figure out cheesemaking!
Clearly, it's time to invest in a cow! :lol:
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by mauichef »

ronnie_suburban wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:49 pm
mauichef wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:18 pm
More pickles!

Now I have the bread and pickles down, I just need to figure out cheesemaking!
Clearly, it's time to invest in a cow! :lol:
I was thinking about a goat actually. A light green '67 8-)

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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Mike9 »

I was thinking about a goat actually. A light green '67 8-)

I prefer '65 vintage Goats myself. I prefer the square grill look. Just my OG opinion. whatever - it's got to have a 389 with triplits, or it don't count.

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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by mauichef »

Mike9 wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:30 pm
I was thinking about a goat actually. A light green '67 8-)

I prefer '65 vintage Goats myself. I prefer the square grill look. Just my OG opinion. whatever - it's got to have a 389 with triplits, or it don't count.
Yes I agree. Not sure why I said a 67. I know the wife wants a square grill :D
Tri pack.....no other way !

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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Paul282 »

20200915_195513~2.jpg
Seared Scallops and Corn Soup with Sunflower Microgreens and Bourbon Smoked Chili Powder.

A friend of mine has gotten into farming microgreens and my brother brought the bourbon smoked chili powder as part of a housewarming gift when he visited last weekend.

This is a good example of needing a wider shallower bowl in my opinion. They were large scallops but I still could only put so much soup in and still have the scallops be the center piece.

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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Bob Z »

Ok,I love bread and butter pickles, can someone post a link or recipeto their fav ones?

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Re: What did you cook today?

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Bob Z wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:19 pm
Ok,I love bread and butter pickles, can someone post a link or recipeto their fav ones?
Seconding this request. I will take pics moving forward so I can contribute. Just recently I've gotten into lacto fermenting pickles (cucumbers) which is a gateway to all kinds of awesome pickled produce such as kimchi etc.

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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Bob Z wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:19 pm
Ok,I love bread and butter pickles, can someone post a link or recipeto their fav ones?
Email sent.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Paul282 wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:15 pm
20200915_195513~2.jpg

Seared Scallops and Corn Soup with Sunflower Microgreens and Bourbon Smoked Chili Powder.

A friend of mine has gotten into farming microgreens and my brother brought the bourbon smoked chili powder as part of a housewarming gift when he visited last weekend.

This is a good example of needing a wider shallower bowl in my opinion. They were large scallops but I still could only put so much soup in and still have the scallops be the center piece.
This dish looks delicious. I think if you search for soup bowls, you'll find what you're looking for. In my experience, they tend to be wider and lower than other bowls.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

It looks like circumstances have lined up for a few days of eating leftovers, though I suppose that could change. So, not much cooking this week which, I hope, will be kind of nice. In the meantime, even though they're not technically "done," I checked in on the batch of bread and butters that I started on 8/29. Ms. Ziedrich says to let them go at least 21 days. Even though today is only Day 19, since they were just sitting in the fridge, I decided to try them out and I'm very pleased with the results (so far) . . .

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Bread & Butters, Day 19

Great flavor, not overly sweet, and great snap and crunchiness. These are the Bread And Butters My Way from The Joy of Pickling, a recipe (and book) that I highly recommend. The hot red peppers I added worked out very well. They imparted a touch of spiciness into the entire batch and gave up enough of their heat that they are extremely pleasant to eat on their own.
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