What did you cook today?

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

Post by Chappychap »

ronnie_suburban wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:36 pm
Jeff B wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:21 pm Great looking dish Ronnie. When I first started using a wok I was kind of...meh...but the more you use it the more addicting it gets. Before you know it you'll be using it more than you eat chicken thighs! :D
LOL, that's a pretty steep threshold! I've certainly found a wok that I'm comfortable with (finally), so I know I'll be using it with some frequency. My immediate goal is to cook with it several times this week, hopefully at least once a day. After the initial seasoning session and two cooks, it's already pretty much nonstick, which is providing some extra incentive.
That's a good goal! To answer your other question on the poblano, after skinning the peppers it was garlic, splash of milk, chicken stock, sour cream, and some mozzarella I needed to get RID of and soon l some cilantro into the Vitamix. Easy dish.

I had sine left over pasta tonight and after working late didn't have much time to cook. Fortunately I found some old homemade pizza sauce in the freezer to get RID of. It was too sour to use by itself, so I went rogue and turned it into a creamy tomato sauce by adding cream, sugar and black pepper, parsley and some cherry tomatoes. No knife required tonight :lol:
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Mike9 »

I had to go shopping today and picked up a boneless sirloin steak @ 1.5" thick along with the usual suspects. I sliced the skin off of a russet to square it up a bit then sliced that into 1/4" fries that went into cold water for a soak. Meanwhile I bagged the steak along with salt, pepper, smashed garlic, thyme and a glug of evoo. I set Joule to 128F and the timer for 1.25hrs. I made a blue cheese dressing (soy free) with blue cheese (duh), butter milk, Greek yogurt, salt, pepper, vinegar and roasted garlic powder. Rinsed some chopped iceberg then dropped the steak into the pot. In that time the fries came out, dried between two towels then on to a sheet pan to finish drying at 250F in the oven. Then they got tossed with evoo and cranked the oven up to 375. Everything was going good . . . time for a beverage. The meat was done, the oven got bumped up to 425, the fries turned, the steak went into a ripping hot cast iron along with a butter/garlic/thyme baste and then like magic - everything came together.

Absolutely perfection on the steak, the crunchy potatoes and the salad dressing. Sadly no room for dessert which has been a brownie on a strawberry coulis with fresh whipped cream on top.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by XexoX »

Mike9 wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:07 pm I had to go shopping today and picked up a boneless sirloin steak @ 1.5" thick along with the usual suspects. I sliced the skin off of a russet to square it up a bit then sliced that into 1/4" fries that went into cold water for a soak. Meanwhile I bagged the steak along with salt, pepper, smashed garlic, thyme and a glug of evoo. I set Joule to 128F and the timer for 1.25hrs. I made a blue cheese dressing (soy free) with blue cheese (duh), butter milk, Greek yogurt, salt, pepper, vinegar and roasted garlic powder. Rinsed some chopped iceberg then dropped the steak into the pot. In that time the fries came out, dried between two towels then on to a sheet pan to finish drying at 250F in the oven. Then they got tossed with evoo and cranked the oven up to 375. Everything was going good . . . time for a beverage. The meat was done, the oven got bumped up to 425, the fries turned, the steak went into a ripping hot cast iron along with a butter/garlic/thyme baste and then like magic - everything came together.

Absolutely perfection on the steak, the crunchy potatoes and the salad dressing. Sadly no room for dessert which has been a brownie on a strawberry coulis with fresh whipped cream on top.
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Looks yummy!

I know someone who is allergic to soy. In fact, when she first found out, she was told that soybean oil was fine (it's been some 50 years ago.) She argued with them about it. A few years later it was determined that yes, people allergic to soy could/would be allergic to the oil as well. She does say she can use soy sauce, as long as it is a completely fermented one. The fermentation breaks down whatever chemical/protein(?) in the soy that she is allergic to.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Was hoping for still-frozen scallops in my WF delivery but ended up with previously frozen, which meant I really needed to use them today. First up, a quick 2-hour marinade in 1 part hatcho miso, 1 part red miso and 1 part sake . . .

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Scallops
Rinsed and dried after a 2-hour zipper-bag marination.

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Sauce Mise En Place & Masakage Yuki Gyuto, 210mm
Shallots, 2T corn starch (later slurried w/2T cold water), Hondashi (recon with 50/50 4x chicken stock and water) and half a lemon (later juiced).

Decided that after a very hot sear of the scallops in a 50/50 blend of evoo and unsalted butter, I wouldn't want to leave anything behind in the pan, so I prepped for a quick sauce before I started cooking. After the scallops cooked, I drained most of the fat out of the pan and used the shallots and the Hondashi to release the fond. Once that started to reduce, I drizzled in the corn starch slurry, using about half of my of solution.

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Plated Up
Hatcho miso-marinated/seared scallops with lemon-shallot-Hondashi sauce on a bed of pureed Christmas lima beans (leftover from last week and repurposed). We also finished off some not-so-creamed kale from earlier in the week. A pretty nice dinner, actually.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

I was back at two tasks tonight: getting familiar with my new wok and getting RID of stuff. I managed to succeed at both, without necessarily improving my cooking but hey, it still turned out delicious . . .

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Mise En Place & Saji R-2 Gyuto, 210mm
It would probably easier to make a list of ingredients in my kitchen that I didn't use! :shock:
Grated ginger, jalapeno, broccoli stem, scallion tops, broccoli florets, extra firm tofu, corn starch, bok choy cores, crushed garlic, boy choy leaves, peanut oil, shoyu, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, 4x chicken stock, creminis, mung bean sprouts, shallot, green beans, yellow carrot and scallion bottoms.

Decided I needed more of sauce this time, so I opted for the stock + corn starch combination. That worked out very well, especially in tandem with the other pantry sauces.

I'm beginning to fall in love with this gorgeous knife, which might possess the sharpest ootb blade I own. Even relative to some of the other blades I own, the difference is immediately noticeable. And the handle is remarkably comfortable. But I'm also coming to grips with the fact that this very rubbery Hi-Soft cutting board is absolutely not for me. I'm mostly a push cutter and this board is like a brake pedal against the blade on every single cut. When you have to abandon your natural cutting motion to accommodate your board, you know you're using the wrong board. I kept hoping it would lose its "stick" but after months, that just hasn't happened. :(

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Plated Up
Garnished with scallion tops and chili crisp.

It's a big wok (16") but it was still a bit too full. That's one of the perils of trying to make a big dinner for 3+ in one batch. Still, I was really happy with the texture of the green beans, bok choy cores, carrots and broccoli (stems & florets). I was also happy with the flavor and viscosity of the sauce. I probably added the bean sprouts just a bit early. They were a little soft but still had some crunch. Still, looking forward to more cooking time with the wok, especially smaller batches with fewer/different ingredients.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Jeff B »

Mike9 wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:07 pm I had to go shopping today and picked up a boneless sirloin steak @ 1.5" thick along with the usual suspects. I sliced the skin off of a russet to square it up a bit then sliced that into 1/4" fries that went into cold water for a soak. Meanwhile I bagged the steak along with salt, pepper, smashed garlic, thyme and a glug of evoo. I set Joule to 128F and the timer for 1.25hrs. I made a blue cheese dressing (soy free) with blue cheese (duh), butter milk, Greek yogurt, salt, pepper, vinegar and roasted garlic powder. Rinsed some chopped iceberg then dropped the steak into the pot. In that time the fries came out, dried between two towels then on to a sheet pan to finish drying at 250F in the oven. Then they got tossed with evoo and cranked the oven up to 375. Everything was going good . . . time for a beverage. The meat was done, the oven got bumped up to 425, the fries turned, the steak went into a ripping hot cast iron along with a butter/garlic/thyme baste and then like magic - everything came together.

Absolutely perfection on the steak, the crunchy potatoes and the salad dressing. Sadly no room for dessert which has been a brownie on a strawberry coulis with fresh whipped cream on top.
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Mike, you're still my go to for simple, delicious and healthy suppers!
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

With the temps rising (yay!) and my unlimited outdoor food storage literally melting away, I had some pork shoulder I needed to use up. Decided to take a stab at a bulgogi/kalbi-style marinade . . .

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Marinade Mise En Place & Saji R-2 Gyuto, 210mm
This was an amalgamation of a few online sources: brown sugar, garlic, honeycrisp apple (in lieu of Asian pear), mirin, toasted sesame oil, black pepper, red chile flakes, shoyu, onion and ginger. All of this went into the Vitamix. Once it was a smooth puree, I poured it over the pork, in a zipper bag and put it in the fridge for about 24 hours.

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Marinated Pork Shoulder
Kind of messy but I did my best to squeeze most of the marinade off the meat. My hope was that I cut it small enough to cook quickly but not so small that it would fall between the grill grates.

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Weber Kettle + Lump Charcoal
It had been a few weeks but with the big melt going on, re-clearing my path to the grill was a breeze.

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Grilling
Did this in stages, marking the meat on both sides over the charcoal, then moving it to the indirect side, while I continued to mark the remainder of the meat.

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Mound O' Grilled Meat
Once all of the pork had seen some time over the charcoal, I let this big pile cook on the indirect side, covered, for about another 15 minutes.

There were a couple of sides, one of which I kind of came up with on the fly . . .

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Eggplant Mise En Place & Konosuke Fujiyama FM Blue #2 Gyuto 210mm
Scallion bottoms, crushed garlic, rice vinegar, hot honey, very spicy pepper paste, evoo. Just mixed this all together to create the 'basting' sauce for eggplant.

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Spicy & Sweet Roasted Eggplant
Sliced the eggplant into ~1/2" discs, lightly salted it and let some of the moisture drain. After that, a little baking, some brushing, some roasting, some more brushing and finally, some broiling. This came out really nicely and I'd definitely make it again.

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Meat Platter
I wanted to just stay out by the grill and eat this all by myself in the dark. But I decided to bring it inside and share. :D

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Plated Up
Charcoal-grilled pork bulgogi, spicy & sweet roasted eggplant and tender-crisp garlicky green beans.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Chappychap »

ronnie_suburban wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:45 pm Charcoal-grilled pork bulgogi, spicy & sweet roasted eggplant and tender-crisp garlicky green beans.
That looks really really great Ronnie. You're making me so excited to have a garden in our next house, where the grill can be on all year round. My South Korean mother in law makes me bulgogi and that looks just as good as hers.

Looks like we were both making Korean tonight too, as I put some dolsot bibimbap together. Perfect after a few days of not cooking much due to work. It's also my go to meal to test drive a knife through a few cutting techniques, with push cut slicing, draw cuts, katsuramuki and mincing. It was fun doing that with the Anryu B#2 santoku. I snapped one of these up when Anryu announced his retirement and I'm so glad I did. Such exceptional performance for the money.

I have also now gone full circle with santokus as a shape; first I loved them as it was my first Japanese knife shape. Then I discovered gyutos and wondered why I ever used something so short?! Then nakiris, then 150 petties, the latter of which I loved especially, except for the fact they weren't tall enough. And what makes a great tall compact knife about the same length as a 150 petty? A santoku :lol:. And here we are, full circle in love with a santoku.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Chappychap wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:17 pm
ronnie_suburban wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:45 pm Charcoal-grilled pork bulgogi, spicy & sweet roasted eggplant and tender-crisp garlicky green beans.
That looks really really great Ronnie. You're making me so excited to have a garden in our next house, where the grill can be on all year round. My South Korean mother in law makes me bulgogi and that looks just as good as hers.
LOL, guessing hers is way better and would love the recipe if she's willing to share it. Yes, it's great being able to grill year-round. It's never the cold that's the problem. It's the wind. That makes it very hard to hold temperature. No matter how cold it is, if it's still, the grilling is good . . . as long as you can get to the grill.
Chappychap wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:17 pm Looks like we were both making Korean tonight too, as I put some dolsot bibimbap together. Perfect after a few days of not cooking much due to work. It's also my go to meal to test drive a knife through a few cutting techniques, with push cut slicing, draw cuts, katsuramuki and mincing. It was fun doing that with the Anryu B#2 santoku. I snapped one of these up when Anryu announced his retirement and I'm so glad I did. Such exceptional performance for the money.

I have also now gone full circle with santokus as a shape; first I loved them as it was my first Japanese knife shape. Then I discovered gyutos and wondered why I ever used something so short?! Then nakiris, then 150 petties, the latter of which I loved especially, except for the fact they weren't tall enough. And what makes a great tall compact knife about the same length as a 150 petty? A santoku :lol:. And here we are, full circle in love with a santoku.
Your bibimbap is truly picturesque and looks delicious. I have to say that we are, once again, on the same wavelength, and not just on the Korean dinners but also on the Anryu santokus. I'm generally not a fan of the shape because it often create clearance issues for my knuckles. But when these became available, I decided that it was the right time to give it another try, and I'm so happy I did. The knife-making is so extraordinary that neither the shape, nor the oval handle (of which I'm also not normally a fan) have prevented me from absolutely loving it. It's just an easy-cutting luxury ride through and through. And at 165mm, it's a knife my wife loves using, too.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Chappychap »

ronnie_suburban wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:38 pm Your bibimbap is truly picturesque and looks delicious. I have to say that we are, once again, on the same wavelength, and not just on the Korean dinners but also on the Anryu santokus. I'm generally not a fan of the shape because it often create clearance issues for my knuckles. But when these became available, I decided that it was the right time to give it another try, and I'm so happy I did. The knife-making is so extraordinary that neither the shape, nor the oval handle (of which I'm also not normally a fan) have prevented me from absolutely loving it. It's just an easy-cutting luxury ride through and through. And at 165mm, it's a knife my wife loves using, too.
Thank you!

I hadn't thought about the wind but that makes sense. Surprised you can manage to keep it alight let alone consistent in temperature!

I'll see what I can do on the bulgogi. Just FYI she's not too confident with her English but maybe my wife can help translate. I'll ask! I'd like it myself anyway. As an aside, Korean sashimi bowls are another great Korean dish, especially for weeknights. Simple, tasty, and nutritious. Especially given how uncomplicated it is to get salmon. My mind was blown when I realised that 'sushi grade' salmon is basically a synonym for 'frozen but otherwise basically the same as any farm raised salmon you can buy, just more expensive'.

You mean you bought one of the Anryu santokus that came available in the last batch too? How funny. Between the very same brands of obscure ingredients, equipment choices, knife purchases and mirrored cuisine decisons all these coincidences are starting to get a little uncanny :lol:. Proof of the existence of cooking doppelgangers? Evidence of free will being a myth? Some kind of undiscovered family connection? I'll have to ask my miscreant father if he ever had any affairs in the Chicago area many years ago. Wouldn't surprise me.

Joking aside, out of curiosity, can I ask what's on your upcoming 'things to cook' list at the moment? I'm stuck in a deep inspiration rut this week. Trying to claw my way out of this cooking slump...
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Chappychap wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:36 am My mind was blown when I realised that 'sushi grade' salmon is basically a synonym for 'frozen but otherwise basically the same as any farm raised salmon you can buy, just more expensive'.
LOL - reminds me of a line a friend came up with recently saying that bone broth was basically just regular broth with a better PR firm. :lol:
Chappychap wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:36 am You mean you bought one of the Anryu santokus that came available in the last batch too? How funny. Between the very same brands of obscure ingredients, equipment choices, knife purchases and mirrored cuisine decisons all these coincidences are starting to get a little uncanny :lol:. Proof of the existence of cooking doppelgangers? Evidence of free will being a myth? Some kind of undiscovered family connection? I'll have to ask my miscreant father if he ever had any affairs in the Chicago area many years ago. Wouldn't surprise me.
Haha - we certainly have been in sync lately.
Chappychap wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:36 am Joking aside, out of curiosity, can I ask what's on your upcoming 'things to cook' list at the moment? I'm stuck in a deep inspiration rut this week. Trying to claw my way out of this cooking slump...
Definitely having some form of restaurant meal either tonight or tomorrow. Very uncreatively, I picked up some NY strips from the butcher, so I'll grill those on the non-restaurant night. And I know they'll be great because he runs a great shop. On Sunday I'm planning a pretty elaborate soup that I saw in this video . . .



I already have the beef shanks and everything else on hand but I'm hoping that by Sunday, I'll also have the energy! :D
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Chappychap »

ronnie_suburban wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:21 pm
Chappychap wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:36 am My mind was blown when I realised that 'sushi grade' salmon is basically a synonym for 'frozen but otherwise basically the same as any farm raised salmon you can buy, just more expensive'.
LOL - reminds me of a line a friend came up with recently saying that bone broth was basically just regular broth with a better PR firm. :lol:
Chappychap wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:36 am You mean you bought one of the Anryu santokus that came available in the last batch too? How funny. Between the very same brands of obscure ingredients, equipment choices, knife purchases and mirrored cuisine decisons all these coincidences are starting to get a little uncanny :lol:. Proof of the existence of cooking doppelgangers? Evidence of free will being a myth? Some kind of undiscovered family connection? I'll have to ask my miscreant father if he ever had any affairs in the Chicago area many years ago. Wouldn't surprise me.
Haha - we certainly have been in sync lately.
Chappychap wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:36 am Joking aside, out of curiosity, can I ask what's on your upcoming 'things to cook' list at the moment? I'm stuck in a deep inspiration rut this week. Trying to claw my way out of this cooking slump...
Definitely having some form of restaurant meal either tonight or tomorrow. Very uncreatively, I picked up some NY strips from the butcher, so I'll grill those on the non-restaurant night. And I know they'll be great because he runs a great shop. On Sunday I'm planning a pretty elaborate soup that I saw in this video . . .



I already have the beef shanks and everything else on hand but I'm hoping that by Sunday, I'll also have the energy! :D
WOW. That's some next level soup. Based on the required ingredients I think that's the first recipe I've intimidated by in a long time! Good for you trying such an authentic preparation. Can't wait to see how it turns out.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Chappychap »

After a couple of things in the week ending surprisingly well on Friday, along with the pressure of having to get rid of about a pound of oyster mushrooms, I had a random flash of inspiration and was back in the kitchen at last.

Initially to get RID of the mushrooms I had the idea to pulse them in the food processor so that I could use them as a ground meat substitute, perhaps in Bolognese. But I really didn’t feel like pasta. So I thought why not get experimental, and try to make a mushroom burger. Even better, why not use the Panko crumbs I have and make it a Japanese style mushroom burger that’s crispy?

So out came some egg salt and pepper, which I blended into the pulsed mushrooms. I then shaped them into disk shaped patties as best I could, before pressing them into Panko. As long as there's a generous amount of egg involved, my general experience is that 'the object that Pankos together, stays together'. Fortunately this worked out to be true, and I was able to deep fry it successfully in the wok with minimal breakage. Yes, perhaps it took a little bit more babying and then usual, but it worked. Shocked by this improvised success, I realised I might as well try and turn it into something I actually wanted to eat for lunch.

And at that point I then realised that I had some other things that I could use and get RID of to make it a real burger. For the greens, I used some bok choy leaves. For a bit of kick, I used the half used up white onion I had. And then for the bun, I toasted a plain bagel I needed to use. And so, with a bit of ketchup and Kewpie mayonnaise, my Japanese Panko mushroom burger was born. Or should I say Panko mushroom 'burg-el'. :lol:

If I was doing it intentionally, I'd probably use a further mushroom like a portabello, but otherwise it was pretty good. Funny how inspiration just happens when you least expect it!

Put together with my Yoshikane hammered 150 petty.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Chappychap wrote: Sat Feb 27, 2021 2:37 pm And at that point I then realised that I had some other things that I could use and get RID of to make it a real burger. For the greens, I used some bok choy leaves. For a bit of kick, I used the half used up white onion I had. And then for the bun, I toasted a plain bagel I needed to use. And so, with a bit of ketchup and Kewpie mayonnaise, my Japanese Panko mushroom burger was born. Or should I say Panko mushroom 'burg-el'. :lol:

If I was doing it intentionally, I'd probably use a further mushroom like a portabello, but otherwise it was pretty good. Funny how inspiration just happens when you least expect it!
Excellent! It looks great. That's exactly the kind of cooking I find the most inspirational and interesting. It's very cool to make something really delicious with what you've got on hand, relying mainly on your experience, accumulated knowledge and your palate. At the beginning of the pandemic, this is the path I was on most frequently, as I was completely terrified of wasting anything, determined to not throw anything away and not always able to get familiar ingredients. As time has passed and the grocery supply chain has stabilized a little, I've drifted away from this a bit but at the end of the day, I think this kind of cooking is what matters most, especially for us home cooks.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Chappychap »

ronnie_suburban wrote: Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:18 pm
Chappychap wrote: Sat Feb 27, 2021 2:37 pm And at that point I then realised that I had some other things that I could use and get RID of to make it a real burger. For the greens, I used some bok choy leaves. For a bit of kick, I used the half used up white onion I had. And then for the bun, I toasted a plain bagel I needed to use. And so, with a bit of ketchup and Kewpie mayonnaise, my Japanese Panko mushroom burger was born. Or should I say Panko mushroom 'burg-el'. :lol:

If I was doing it intentionally, I'd probably use a further mushroom like a portabello, but otherwise it was pretty good. Funny how inspiration just happens when you least expect it!
Excellent! It looks great. That's exactly the kind of cooking I find the most inspirational and interesting. It's very cool to make something really delicious with what you've got on hand, relying mainly on your experience, accumulated knowledge and your palate. At the beginning of the pandemic, this is the path I was on most frequently, as I was completely terrified of wasting anything, determined to not throw anything away and not always able to get familiar ingredients. As time has passed and the grocery supply chain has stabilized a little, I've drifted away from this a bit but at the end of the day, I think this kind of cooking is what matters most, especially for us home cooks.
Thanks Ronnie. I also find it's the most uplifting, because of the sense of achievement and discovery when you try something new. I think that was the source of my rut... too many things were becoming 'not new/interesting anymore'.

Totally hear you on waste. Thank God the food system stabilised...

Also, deep/shallow frying in a round bottom wok = game changer. I never used to use this technique because I hate cleaning up so much oil. With the round bottom you can use so much less.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Chappychap wrote: Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:31 pm Also, deep/shallow frying in a round bottom wok = game changer. I never used to use this technique because I hate cleaning up so much oil. With the round bottom you can use so much less.
Definitely. I have to keep this in mind for sure. It opens the door to a lot of otherwise-impractical dishes.

Quick-prep dinner for us tonight, taking full advantage of the near-perfect, ~50F, grilling weather . . .

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NY Strip Steaks
From my butcher, who always comes through. I marked them on both sides over the lump charcoal, then moved them to the indirect side and covered the grill for a few moments to finish them.

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Garnish & Tojiro Flash Damascus Petty, 120mm
Chives and what I believe is my longest-owned Japanese knife.

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Salad
Arugula and accoutrements. If you look closely, you'll see the Pao Gasol-branded, Spanish-origin, single-varietal evoo, vintage 2011! I just 'discovered' this unopened bottle in my basement and upon opening it, there was nary a hint of rancidity, so time to use it up!

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Plated Up
Charcoal-grilled NY strip with leftover spicy & sweet roasted eggplant and sauteed creminis with garlic and red wine.
=R=
Half of cooking is thinking about cooking.
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Jeff B
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Jeff B »

Ronnie, I'm going too spend a lot more time in Chicago once you open up your bistro!
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 ChefKnivesToGo »

Thai Fish Curry.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ChefKnivesToGo »

ronnie_suburban wrote: Sat Feb 27, 2021 7:40 pm
Chappychap wrote: Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:31 pm Also, deep/shallow frying in a round bottom wok = game changer. I never used to use this technique because I hate cleaning up so much oil. With the round bottom you can use so much less.
Definitely. I have to keep this in mind for sure. It opens the door to a lot of otherwise-impractical dishes.

Quick-prep dinner for us tonight, taking full advantage of the near-perfect, ~50F, grilling weather . . .

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NY Strip Steaks
From my butcher, who always comes through. I marked them on both sides over the lump charcoal, then moved them to the indirect side and covered the grill for a few moments to finish them.

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Garnish & Tojiro Flash Damascus Petty, 120mm
Chives and what I believe is my longest-owned Japanese knife.

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Salad
Arugula and accoutrements. If you look closely, you'll see the Pao Gasol-branded, Spanish-origin, single-varietal evoo, vintage 2011! I just 'discovered' this unopened bottle in my basement and upon opening it, there was nary a hint of rancidity, so time to use it up!

Image
Plated Up
Charcoal-grilled NY strip with leftover spicy & sweet roasted eggplant and sauteed creminis with garlic and red wine.
I love a good steak.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Deep dive into Hu La Tang, aka Hot Pepper Soup, from the Ne Han Province of China, via Souped Up Recipes' youtube channel. I did the prep over a couple of days, starting with the spice powder, which Mandy says is a critical, signature component of the dish . . .

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Spices
Powdered ginger root (the one item here that doesn't get toasted, and is already ground), Sichuan peppercorns, long pepper, black peppercorns, white peppercorns, fennel seed, nutmeg, cinnamon, star anise, angelica dahurica root, licorice root, amomum villosum pod, black cardamom and green cardamom (subbed in for white). Everything here, other than the ginger, gets toasted for 4-5 minutes, until it's fragrant. Then it's all cooled and ground into a powder.

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Toasted Spices
After the heat, before the grind.

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Hu La Tang Spice Powder
Ground, sieved, ground again and sieved again. The powdered ginger root is now mixed in.

The next step, described by Mandy as a traditional one, is one that I wanted to try. It involves making a dough from high gluten flour, then rinsing that dough in water to create starch water and a ball of gluten strands, both of which are used in the final product. You can buy wheat gluten and wheat starch separately but I wanted to try this since I'd never done it before. Of course, I used my stand mixer to make the dough, so it's not like I stuck to the completely traditional method. :wink:

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Dough
300g flour, 175g water are kneaded for 10 minutes, then rested for 30 minutes.

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Gluten And Wheat Starch
Once the dough has rested, you just start kneading it very gently in the bowl of water. After about 15 minutes, most of the starch floats out into the water and what remains is a ball of gluten strands. The gluten ball is eventually torn into small bits and cooked in the soup as dumplings. The starch water is ultimately used to thicken the soup in the final step of the cooking process.

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Separated Starch
Here, you can see the stratification, with the starch having sunk to the bottom. Mandy recommends letting it sit for at least 6 hours. Having done the prep over a couple of days, what you see here sat overnight. Before adding this to the soup, the top water is carefully poured off and the remaining starch at the bottom is added into the soup, a little at a time.

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Reclaimed Starch
Mandy ended up adding about 1.25 cups to her soup. I used about a cup.

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Reclaimed Gluten
This was rinsed and squeezed numerous times before being torn into little pieces and added to the soup. Even with all those passes, you can see that it probably could have benefited from even more rinsing but I was ready to move on. :wink:

Next, up prepping the beef and the rest of the ingredients . . .

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Beef Shanks
Just over 4 pounds of bone-in shanks, crammed into the 7.5-quart pot. The pot is filled with water and brought to a simmer.

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Beef Scum
After about 15 minutes, a bunch of scum rises to the top and is removed.

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Scum Removed
At this point, Mandy recommends starting over with a fresh pot of water but I decided to just add some cold water on top and keep removing the scum throughout the cook. These would simmer for another ~2.5 hours.

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Cooked Beef Shanks
Still steaming hot after I removed them from the pot, I let them cool for a few moments before separating the meat from the bones and harvesting the marrow.

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Shredded Beef
Used the two-fork method to shred this up before immediately adding it back to the pot to build the soup. I figured there was a lot of stirring ahead, so I didn't want to start out by breaking it up too small.

There is a series of other ingredients that also goes into the soup including some seasonings and aromatics . . .

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Seasonings + Aromatics & Konosuke HD Western Gyuto, 210mm
Scallions, garlic, ginger, dark soy sauce, soy sauce and salt.

A set of other ingredients gets reconstituted/soaked in water for a couple of hours before each of them eventually gets incorporated into the soup . . .

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Dry Ingredients
Sweet potato starch noodles, day lily, kelp, unsalted peanuts (recipe calls for raw but I only had roasted) and black fungus.

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Reconstituted & Soaked Ingredients
After the meat is removed for shredding, it's the peanuts that go back into the pot first, since they take the longest to soften. Was very surprised how voluminous 10g of compressed black fungus became when reconstituted. I actually had to move them to a larger bowl to complete their soaking.

After the soaked peanuts are added back, the shredded meat goes in, followed by the aromatics and seasonings, reconstituted ingredients, the spice powder and lastly, the reclaimed starch slurry, about 1/4 cup at a time. Once the soup thickens into a glossy, almost gravy-like consistency, it's ready to serve.

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Plated Up
Hu La Tang, garnished with cilantro leaves and homemade chili oil. This is typically served with fried dough but aside from the fact that the soup contained noodles and dumplings (and plenty of starch, overall), I just didn't have it in me. 8-) :lol:
=R=
Half of cooking is thinking about cooking.
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