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 »

Chappychap wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:45 pm Looks delicious Ronnie! And I'm glad the goma-ae was a success. I'll try the reduced sugar version next time as well. I hear ya on a pounds of spinach going surprisingly not far.

Hoping to learn more like this soon. Have a copy of 'Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art' on its way, quite delayed but hopefully early next week. I'll let you know any gems I find!
I really appreciate the lead and the guidance on the goma-ae recipe. It and the short ribs both had a very 'less is more' aesthetic. Guessing/hoping A Simple Art will provide more of the same.

I've been sticking with the RID approach over here, so with some leeks and scallions approaching their end, some ultra-concentrated homemade chicken stock in the fridge and some ground pork in the freezer, I figured mapo tofu was a good call. I feel like I made this pretty recently but the last time was actually in June. Such is life when all the days just kind of bleed into one another . . . :?

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Mise En Place & Masamoto KS Gyuto, 240mm
Speaking of 'less is more,' this was the other end of the spectrum from yesterday's fairly simple, three-ingredient short rib marinade. Granulated sugar, scallion tops, freshly ground Sichuan peppercorns, minced garlic, broad bean paste, extra firm tofu, peanut oil, fermented black beans, corn starch (later slurried with a touch of water), ground pork, ultra-concentrated chicken stock, soy sauce, scallion bottoms & leeks. Still enjoying the Masamoto KS, with its beautiful, new, ambidextrous handle.

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Plated Up
Mapo tofu with pork. Definitely my best batch to date, which makes sense because as they say, practice makes perfect. Of course, using some ultra-concentrated homemade stock instead of canned broth makes a huge difference.

Happy Monday! :)
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Jeff B »

Ronnie as delicious as your meals look I'm continually impressed with your prep work and organization. That discipline alone has to make the job easier and much more enjoyable. That in itself has been inspiring to me to do better. As I cook and have various ingredients prepped and ready to go I'm starting to notice and say to myself, "Hey, that kinda looks like one of Ronnie's layouts!" Of course my meals never look as good though.... :geek: ;)
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Chappychap »

Jeff B wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:53 pm Ronnie as delicious as your meals look I'm continually impressed with your prep work and organization. That discipline alone has to make the job easier and much more enjoyable. That in itself has been inspiring to me to do better. As I cook and have various ingredients prepped and ready to go I'm starting to notice and say to myself, "Hey, that kinda looks like one of Ronnie's layouts!" Of course my meals never look as good though.... :geek: ;)
Couldn't agree more! Ronnie sets the bar for mise. I think the above every time I (try to) cook something interesting.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Chappychap wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:38 pm
Jeff B wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:53 pm Ronnie as delicious as your meals look I'm continually impressed with your prep work and organization. That discipline alone has to make the job easier and much more enjoyable. That in itself has been inspiring to me to do better. As I cook and have various ingredients prepped and ready to go I'm starting to notice and say to myself, "Hey, that kinda looks like one of Ronnie's layouts!" Of course my meals never look as good though.... :geek: ;)
Couldn't agree more! Ronnie sets the bar for mise. I think the above every time I (try to) cook something interesting.
Chaos everywhere but on my board! Thanks, guys. It really helps me stay organized to work like this -- wasn't really my M.O. in the 'before times' (of course, neither was cooking 10+ meals a week). And the pictures are useful for going back to see what the hell I did weeks or months after I did it. :D

Best thing about this thread has been seeing what everyone else is doing, getting inspiration, tips, advice, etc. I'm a better cook for having kept along with it.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Chappychap »

ronnie_suburban wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:18 pm
Chappychap wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:38 pm
Jeff B wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:53 pm Ronnie as delicious as your meals look I'm continually impressed with your prep work and organization. That discipline alone has to make the job easier and much more enjoyable. That in itself has been inspiring to me to do better. As I cook and have various ingredients prepped and ready to go I'm starting to notice and say to myself, "Hey, that kinda looks like one of Ronnie's layouts!" Of course my meals never look as good though.... :geek: ;)
Couldn't agree more! Ronnie sets the bar for mise. I think the above every time I (try to) cook something interesting.
...And the pictures are useful for going back to see what the hell I did weeks or months after I did it. :D...

...Best thing about this thread has been seeing what everyone else is doing, getting inspiration, tips, advice, etc. I'm a better cook for having kept along with it.

Agree with both of those things my side too :lol:. At least if there is photographic evidence of time passing productively, I can probably convince myself that it all ain't quite so bad.

And tonight I was grateful that food was on the table in the form of a Japanese curry. I thought about making the curry roux from scratch, but in this case I think the S&B is easily as good a pre-prepared substitute as my beloved Maesri is for Thai.

This is a dish that my wife used to cook only. Previously in the 'before times' she would do all the cooking and I was best kept away from the stove. So it was fun to try to make it tonight with everything I've learned since starting to cook, the bar having been set high from her countless times making this dish.

Similar to Maesri, the trick with this one is treating it as a base. I added garlic, ginger, stock, ketchup, soy sauce and honey, with the vegetables being potato, onion, carrot and mushroom. It worked out really delicious and I'd recommend it. Adding a soft boiled egg at the end added extra texture and richness too, for the minimal extra prep it required. I should have given it an extra 30s boiling but 'meh I was hungry and it had been a long day.

Made with Toyama 240 stainless clad gyuto and served with cauliflower rice mixed in with real rice to trick me out of eating a few calories I didn't need to.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Ut_ron »

Chappychap wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:18 pm
ronnie_suburban wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:18 pm
Chappychap wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:38 pm

Couldn't agree more! Ronnie sets the bar for mise. I think the above every time I (try to) cook something interesting.
...And the pictures are useful for going back to see what the hell I did weeks or months after I did it. :D...

...Best thing about this thread has been seeing what everyone else is doing, getting inspiration, tips, advice, etc. I'm a better cook for having kept along with it.

Agree with both of those things my side too :lol:. At least if there is photographic evidence of time passing productively, I can probably convince myself that it all ain't quite so bad.

And tonight I was grateful that food was on the table in the form of a Japanese curry. I thought about making the curry roux from scratch, but in this case I think the S&B is easily as good a pre-prepared substitute as my beloved Maesri is for Thai.

This is a dish that my wife used to cook only. Previously in the 'before times' she would do all the cooking and I was best kept away from the stove. So it was fun to try to make it tonight with everything I've learned since starting to cook, the bar having been set high from her countless times making this dish.

Similar to Maesri, the trick with this one is treating it as a base. I added garlic, ginger, stock, ketchup, soy sauce and honey, with the vegetables being potato, onion, carrot and mushroom. It worked out really delicious and I'd recommend it. Adding a soft boiled egg at the end added extra texture and richness too, for the minimal extra prep it required. I should have given it an extra 30s boiling but 'meh I was hungry and it had been a long day.

Made with Toyama 240 stainless clad gyuto and served with cauliflower rice mixed in with real rice to trick me out of eating a few calories I didn't need to.

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And your wife’s vote on this dish was?
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Jeff B »

Excellent Chappy, and great knife too!
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Chappychap »

Ut_ron wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:31 pm And your wife’s vote on this dish was?
She came up as I was about to plate, suspiciously, and 'asked' "have you tested it?" I gave her a spoon. She tasted.

Her face relaxed instantly. "It's good!"

The egg was a hit too. She doesn't usually do that :lol:
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Chappychap wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:18 pm And tonight I was grateful that food was on the table in the form of a Japanese curry. I thought about making the curry roux from scratch, but in this case I think the S&B is easily as good a pre-prepared substitute as my beloved Maesri is for Thai.
CAUTION: Rabbit Hole Warning! :lol:
Chappychap wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:20 pm
Ut_ron wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:31 pm And your wife’s vote on this dish was?
She came up as I was about to plate, suspiciously, and 'asked' "have you tested it?" I gave her a spoon. She tasted.

Her face relaxed instantly. "It's good!"
Nice, major win! (or was it just relief?) :)
Chappychap wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:20 pm The egg was a hit too. She doesn't usually do that :lol:
Yeah, the dish looks great and that egg . . . wow!
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Chappychap »

ronnie_suburban wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:43 pm CAUTION: Rabbit Hole Warning! :lol:
If you haven't tried this already your weeknight dinners are about to change forever :lol:



That balsamic arrived today but the way. Thanks for the tip. Looking forward to trying it tomorrow! Even if it is true that the brand may have changed the formula recently, it can't be worse than the oak rot I had before...
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Re: What did you cook today?

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Chappychap wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:02 am That balsamic arrived today but the way. Thanks for the tip. Looking forward to trying it tomorrow! Even if it is true that the brand may have changed the formula recently, it can't be worse than the oak rot I had before...
Curious to know your thoughts about it. Like I said before, it's not changing any lives but it's better than decent and relatively inexpensive.

Back to chicken+pot=?? tonight with thighs and a bit of RID . . .

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Mise En Place & Konosuke Tetsujin Gyuto, 210mm
Everything except the chicken . . . shallots, tomato paste, leafy celery, bacon, bell pepper, salt, black pepper, evoo, white wine, heavy cream, onions, crushed garlic, carrot, bay leaf and creminis. First run with the Tetsujin. Easily fell through the coarse cuts and was a pleasure on the mincing, too. Was even able to do a little rocking with it on the celery.

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Bacon
Wanted to use up this store-bought bacon, so crisped it up (for garnish later) and did some of the subsequent cooking in some of the rendered fat.

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Vegetables, etc.
Once the bacon was cooked, I removed it, poured off all but a teaspoon or so of the rendered fat and sweated the veggies until they'd removed the fond from the pan and had softened up a little.

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Chicken Thighs
After the veggies did their job, I removed them from the pan, added back about a teaspoon of the rendered bacon fat and seared off the thighs, which had been seasoned with salt and pepper. After the thighs had seared on both sides, I added back the sweated veggies, along with the mushrooms, bell peppers, tomato paste, bay leaf, white wine and a splash of the heavy cream. From there, I covered the pan and let it all simmer together for about an hour.

I also decided to cook up a boatload of swiss and rainbow chard as a side dish . . .

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Chard
Cleaned, partially stemmed and ready to go. Yeah, there are few spots where it looks like some bugs might have gotten there first but I don't mind sharing. :lol:

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Sauteed Chard Blend
Started with some evoo and minced garlic in a medium-hot pan, then added the stems (cut into small pieces) and a touch of water to soften them. After that, I threw in the rest of the chard, let it all wilt and splashed in a just a bit of apple cider vinegar, along with a dash of salt and black pepper. It wasn't quite there after that so I added a "secret" ingredient: Kelley's Gourmet Stone Ground Mustard. It worked really well here. In addition to imparting tartness and a touch of sweetness (both great with the slightly bitter greens), because of its viscosity, it also clung very nicely to the chard.

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Plated Up
Chicken Thighs & Some Business and wilted chard. Every time I make a dish like this, I feel a bit less than excited going in but then, when I have that first bite, I instantly remember why I keep making it. This was really delicious.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Chappychap »

Love the RID'ing Ronnie! Over not seen that Kono before either, glad it performed well tonight. Beautiful knife.

I really like that balsamic you recommended. I don't claim to really know what I'm talking about in this area (or the rest!), but I like that it's less watery than the Whole Foods one I had previously, but not as syrupy and honey like as the one I use for garnish. It's a happy medium for me in both texture and taste. Thanks again.

Tonight I tried a vegetarian take on a classic Tikka Masala, using whole marinated mushrooms as the Tikka. My wife doesn't eat meat so reimagining my beloved chicken version was a good challenge for me to have a go at. Worked out pretty well, with the Yoshikane 150 assisting nicely, along with a Vitamix and a fine mesh Rösle sieve for getting that extra smooth consistency. Two of my other favourite kitchen tools I couldn't live without. Get Curried is a great YouTube channel for anyone who hasn't tried it, by the way.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Chappychap wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:12 pm I really like that balsamic you recommended. I don't claim to really know what I'm talking about in this area (or the rest!), but I like that it's less watery than the Whole Foods one I had previously, but not as syrupy and honey like as the one I use for garnish. It's a happy medium for me in both texture and taste. Thanks again.
Good to know. I feel the same way about it. It's not watery but it's not overly intense, either. Mid-range in terms of viscosity, balance and intensity of flavor.
Chappychap wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:12 pm Tonight I tried a vegetarian take on a classic Tikka Masala, using whole marinated mushrooms as the Tikka.
The dish looks great. Also, I LOVE this idea and will likely steal it soon. In fact, after I made mapo tofu the other day, I told my wife that next time, I'd probably try subbing in minced mushrooms for the pork. Of course, the pork is optional to begin with but with the tofu, you're certainly not going to miss any protein by omitting the pork. And just like with tikka masala, the dish is so packed with intense flavor, my guess is that the pork won't be missed on that front, either.
Chappychap wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:12 pm . . . along with a Vitamix and a fine mesh Rösle sieve for getting that extra smooth consistency. Two of my other favourite kitchen tools I couldn't live without.
Have you ever tried this without the sieve? I'm genuinely curious because Rick Bayless advises with his recipes that when using the Vitamix -- and only the Vitamix -- a sieve is not necessary. I'm not sure I necessarily agree with that but your post reminded me about it. And, needless to say, Indian isn't Mexican.
Chappychap wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:12 pm Get Curried is a great YouTube channel for anyone who hasn't tried it, by the way.
As always, I appreciate the tip. :)
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Re: What did you cook today?

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ronnie_suburban wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:09 am The dish looks great. Also, I LOVE this idea and will likely steal it soon. In fact, after I made mapo tofu the other day, I told my wife that next time, I'd probably try subbing in minced mushrooms for the pork. Of course, the pork is optional to begin with but with the tofu, you're certainly not going to miss any protein by omitting the pork. And just like with tikka masala, the dish is so packed with intense flavor, my guess is that the pork won't be missed on that front, either.
That's a great idea. Coarsely chopped mushroom is a really great meat substitute in Italian too - I've used it successfully for Bolognese and other ground meat-based dishes. In the case of your mapo tofu, I wonder if you could make it an even more convincing substitute by using ground mushroom, but using pork fat for any frying portions of the recipe, as opposed to a neutral oil. Assuming that the reason for taking the meat out isn't to be truly vegetarian, of course.
ronnie_suburban wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:09 am Have you ever tried this without the sieve? I'm genuinely curious because Rick Bayless advises with his recipes that when using the Vitamix -- and only the Vitamix -- a sieve is not necessary. I'm not sure I necessarily agree with that but your post reminded me about it. And, needless to say, Indian isn't Mexican.
This is an interesting topic to me. I actually tried the sauce after I blended it, but before I decided to run it through the sieve. The tiny particles of shredded tomato skin were definitely detectable... it gave it a slightly grainy texture. Maybe if I'd left the Vitamix on for longer I would have overcome this, but I felt the end product yesterday was better for being strained. The way I'm currently looking at this area (for any cuisine) is to strain IF I want a little extra finesse for anything that includes pithy skins that could dilute the flavour and/or add a graininess to the texture, for example tomatoes. But continuing to learn on this. Last night I just wanted that true curry house smooth texture.

Reading your post again also reminds me that I should restock our apple cider vinegar. I wasn't sure if I should bother as I've gravitated towards white wine vinegar for my general all purpose acidity needs. Worth getting as well in your opinion?
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Chappychap wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:05 pm
ronnie_suburban wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:09 am The dish looks great. Also, I LOVE this idea and will likely steal it soon. In fact, after I made mapo tofu the other day, I told my wife that next time, I'd probably try subbing in minced mushrooms for the pork. Of course, the pork is optional to begin with but with the tofu, you're certainly not going to miss any protein by omitting the pork. And just like with tikka masala, the dish is so packed with intense flavor, my guess is that the pork won't be missed on that front, either.
That's a great idea. Coarsely chopped mushroom is a really great meat substitute in Italian too - I've used it successfully for Bolognese and other ground meat-based dishes. In the case of your mapo tofu, I wonder if you could make it an even more convincing substitute by using ground mushroom, but using pork fat for any frying portions of the recipe, as opposed to a neutral oil. Assuming that the reason for taking the meat out isn't to be truly vegetarian, of course.
I generally use peanut oil because of its high heat tolerance and flavor but you're right, it doesn't have to be truly vegetarian in our house. I do have some home-rendered lard in the freezer. I might give it a go.
Chappychap wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:05 pm
ronnie_suburban wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:09 am Have you ever tried this without the sieve? I'm genuinely curious because Rick Bayless advises with his recipes that when using the Vitamix -- and only the Vitamix -- a sieve is not necessary. I'm not sure I necessarily agree with that but your post reminded me about it. And, needless to say, Indian isn't Mexican.
This is an interesting topic to me. I actually tried the sauce after I blended it, but before I decided to run it through the sieve. The tiny particles of shredded tomato skin were definitely detectable... it gave it a slightly grainy texture. Maybe if I'd left the Vitamix on for longer I would have overcome this, but I felt the end product yesterday was better for being strained. The way I'm currently looking at this area (for any cuisine) is to strain IF I want a little extra finesse for anything that includes pithy skins that could dilute the flavour and/or add a graininess to the texture, for example tomatoes. But continuing to learn on this. Last night I just wanted that true curry house smooth texture.
Totally understood. And I think the applications are very different but I was just curious. I'm always looking for ways/excuses to bypass using my chinois. It's not because I'm lazy (I am) but because it takes up a lot of room in the dishwasher.
Chappychap wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:05 pm Reading your post again also reminds me that I should restock our apple cider vinegar. I wasn't sure if I should bother as I've gravitated towards white wine vinegar for my general all purpose acidity needs. Worth getting as well in your opinion?
Yeah, you're asking the wrong guy because my approach is always to just buy an ingredient (especially when it's shelf-stable) and think about how to use it afterwards. So yes, I'd recommend getting some apple cider vinegar. It probably won't surprise you that I have two. One is a clear, major-brand product that is very utilitarian. It's got some residual sweetness but it's mostly sour. Good for pickling, as an acidulent in emulsions, etc. The other is a cloudy, boutique brand that has some tartness but also a lot of inherent sweetness. It's actually palatable to sip. I like this one for sauces, applications in which it won't be cooked and finishing/garnishing. As far as I can recall, I only have one thing in which I use both and that's my coleslaw. That's a real bitch's brew to begin with but used together with the other ingredients, I like the apple cider vinegar combo. They work well together to offset the bitterness of the raw cabbage.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Had a plan to use some frozen duck breasts in another project (and that may still happen) but with no other ideas for tonight's dinner, decided this morning to thaw them and keep it simple . . .

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Cabbage Mise En Place & Konosuke HD Western Gyuto, 210mm
These were two of the smallest cabbages I'd ever seen, each about the size of a baseball. Decided on a slow, stovetop braise with garlic, shallot and red onion. Splashed in a bit of the apple cider vinegar at the very end, after it came off the heat.

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Sear
Salt and black pepper, skin-side-down in a cold, dry pan, then turn on the heat to medium. Once the fat renders out and both sides get some color, the pan goes into a 400F oven for ~6 minutes.

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Plated Up
Duck breast with braised cabbage and some leftover alubias blancas from my most recent 'weekly' batch of beans. The duck was really juicy, with a nice, crispy skin.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Altadan »

Oh duck! It's been a while. Man, that looks yum!
Reminds me of some Czech duck I had in Prague, with red and white cabbage, and something they call Kneydlik (not sure about spelling).

So, someone recently 'thanked' an old video post of the Wok Therapist I posted on the Carbon Skillet thread. I watched it again and went on to fall into a Wok rabbit hole (we're under another lockdown here...smh). I then placed an order that'll likely take weeks to arrive, and only THEN saw the Wok Suggestion thread.
Regardless, I've been stirfrying, trying to get a hanf of this prep-heavy quick-cook style of cooking. Making do with the 12.5 DeBuyer, in batches.
Wife is uber happy with all the crunchy veg were having, and apparently the soy is just what it takes to get the kids to dig in too!
Here's a snap of last night's dinner (clicking on the shots gives more natural colors):
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I think y'all can tell what you see here; Chicken breast, garlic, ginger, onion, etc. There was some sugar added to the soy+cornstarch marinade that I think was really unnecessary.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Altadan wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:40 am Oh duck! It's been a while. Man, that looks yum!
Reminds me of some Czech duck I had in Prague, with red and white cabbage, and something they call Kneydlik (not sure about spelling).
Ah, yeah. Love those Czech bread dumplings!
Altadan wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:40 am . . . I've been stirfrying, trying to get a hanf of this prep-heavy quick-cook style of cooking. Making do with the 12.5 DeBuyer, in batches.
Wife is uber happy with all the crunchy veg were having, and apparently the soy is just what it takes to get the kids to dig in too!

I think y'all can tell what you see here; Chicken breast, garlic, ginger, onion, etc. There was some sugar added to the soy+cornstarch marinade that I think was really unnecessary.
Looks great, especially your knife work on the garlic and ginger. Absolute precision. I see you're still digging the new cleaver, too.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Chappychap »

Altadan wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:40 am So, someone recently 'thanked' an old video post of the Wok Therapist I posted on the Carbon Skillet thread. I watched it again and went on to fall into a Wok rabbit hole (we're under another lockdown here...smh). I then placed an order that'll likely take weeks to arrive, and only THEN saw the Wok Suggestion thread.
I love that video. I'm in full blown WOCD right now :lol:.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by XexoX »

Altadan wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:40 am Oh duck! It's been a while. Man, that looks yum!
Reminds me of some Czech duck I had in Prague, with red and white cabbage, and something they call Kneydlik (not sure about spelling).

So, someone recently 'thanked' an old video post of the Wok Therapist I posted on the Carbon Skillet thread. I watched it again and went on to fall into a Wok rabbit hole (we're under another lockdown here...smh). I then placed an order that'll likely take weeks to arrive, and only THEN saw the Wok Suggestion thread.
Regardless, I've been stirfrying, trying to get a hanf of this prep-heavy quick-cook style of cooking. Making do with the 12.5 DeBuyer, in batches. ...
Have you tried Gary Wiviott's hot oil take on Barbara Tropp's hot oil to use in your stirfrys. Actually, there are lots of Barbara's oil recipes to be found online. She believed in infusing oils ahead of time, to make the cooking easier.

And if you haven't read The Food Lab: For the Best Stir-Fry, Fire Up the Grill from Kenjii yet, you might find it informative.
You can blame Mr. Suburban for my being here. :lol:
The thing about quotes on the internet is you can not confirm their validity. -- Abraham Lincoln
All steels are equal if you can't keep them sharp. -- Jeff B.
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