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 »

It's really nice to always have a couple of homemade stocks on hand (courtesy of the instant pot). It opens up a lot of avenues for getting RID of stuff in tasty fashion. Was having trouble deciding what to make for dinner tonight but with stock on hand, I was able to use up some kale and mushrooms in darned good soup . . .

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Mise En Place & Konosuke Sumiiro SLD Gyuto, 210mm
Creminis, salt, onions & scallion bottoms, garlic chives, carrot, scallion tops, crushed garlic, hot Italian sausage, evoo, 4x gelatinous pork stock, black pepper and kale.

Rendered the sausage in the evoo, then removed it until the very end. Next in were onions, scallion bottoms, garlic, carrot and mushrooms. After they'd all softened a bit, I added about 2 cups of the concentrated stock and 6 cups of water, and let it simmer. When everything had melded nicely and reduced down, I added back the par-cooked sausage and some of the garlic chives (keeping the rest for garnish).

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Plated Up
Garnished with garlic chives, scallion tops and red chile flakes, along with some toast (from a loaf baked by a friend) with homemade ramp butter.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Saturday brunch omelet . . .

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Mixed Cheeses Omelet - w/Scallions & Garlic Chives
With the end of my friend's bread -- toasted, with ramp butter -- and some not-half-bad chicken sausages.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Started the day with another omelet . . .

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Leftover Smoque Sausage, Four Cheeses & Shimeji Mushrooms
Out of bread and the meat's inside, so just a lonely omelet.

Next up, an unnecessarily complicated dish for dinner that turned out pretty good. Stuffed poblanos and Anaheim peppers. Considering how tasty they were and how much stuff I got RID of, well worth the effort . . .

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Mise En Place & Konosuke Sumiiro SLD Gyuto, 210mm
Black pepper, leftover quinoa, fresh mozzarella, minced serranos, minced jalapenos, crushed garlic, Mexican oregano, chorizo, salt, cumin, cilantro leaves, shimeji mushrooms, ancho chile powder, al pastor pork, red onion, olive oil, roasted poblanos & Anaheim peppers. Got the chorizo and al pastor from the meat department at my one of favorite Mexican markets.

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Stuffing
Sauteed everything in the oil except for the quinoa, cheese and cilantro leaves. Once it had rendered and cooked to where I wanted it, I let it cool, and added those 3 ingredients, plus a couple eggs. The eggs weren't in my original plan but when it was all said and done, seeing how wet the mixture was, I felt it needed some egg to bind it.

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Stuffed Peppers
Ready for the oven. In ~1 cup of cooking liquid that was 50/50 4x gelatinous pork stock and El Pato.

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Baked
After ~50 minutes @ 350F, covered for the first half. Threw a little grated cheddar and cotija on for the last 5 minutes. Was pleased how well these held together. The were easy to serve completely intact, with a long, narrow offset spatula.

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Plated Up
There are two sauces underneath the heavily garnished poblano. The 'orange' one is a chorizo cream gravy, which was basically a bechamel that I started by rendering some chorizo and shallots, after which I added flour to make a roux, then added some milk and a tiny squeeze of tomato paste from the tube. The brown 'sauce' is some leftover black eyed peas that I thinned with some pork stock, after which I buzzed it with the stick blender and tuned it up with a splash of white vinegar. The garnishes are cilantro leaves, scallion tops, garlic chives, more cotija and a squeeze of lime juice.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by XexoX »

Mr. Suburban, I have to ask you, how long does it take you to prepare for and cook a meal?
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by stevem627 »

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Last edited by stevem627 on Sun Apr 25, 2021 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by stevem627 »

Ronnie, I think that if you were to go to most restaurants the food would not be better.

Few people go through the planning, the procurement of ingredients, the prep work, the time, and have knowledge of how to put it all together like you do.

Those who dine with you are fortunate.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

XexoX wrote: Sun Apr 25, 2021 9:05 pm Mr. Suburban, I have to ask you, how long does it take you to prepare for and cook a meal?
That really varies but for the above, it was about 75 minutes of active cooking and prep. It's kind of blurry because I was doing a a bunch of cooking tasks all at the same time (family brunch, weekly slaw, prepping leftovers for the upcoming week's lunches). And in this case, I roasted and skinned the peppers a day ahead, and that took some time. But it was Sunday, I didn't have to work and I enjoy getting lost in cooking projects. Otoh, my pantry is well stocked for cooking a lot of things in just a few minutes, with virtually no planning at all. For example, Thai-style curries have become a staple around here and other than an optional protein and some fresh basil, the rest of the ingredients I typically use are pretty much pantry or freezer. When using a dry spice rub, I can get our beloved charcoal-grilled chicken thighs from fridge to table in as little as 45 minutes, and that requires virtually zero effort or advance planning. So, it really just depends.
stevem627 wrote: Sun Apr 25, 2021 11:14 pm Ronnie, I think that if you were to go to most restaurants the food would not be better.

Few people go through the planning, the procurement of ingredients, the prep work, the time, and have knowledge of how to put it all together like you do.

Those who dine with you are fortunate.
Thanks. That's really kind of you to say. As much as I do my best to patronize local restaurants (I'm a huge fan and supporter of the industry), carry-out food is not optimal and until very recently, dining in hasn't been a realistic option. So, in this weird paradigm, my food rates right up there with what's actually available, lol. :lol:

My son Instagrams a lot of our meals and for a while, a few of his friends thought he was cooking it all, not me! :lol: So, I know he's appreciative. As horrible as it's been in many ways, being at home during the pandemic has allowed me to dive down some rabbit holes I didn't previously have time for. In that respect, I'm really lucky. My wife and I have had a year with our boy living at home at a time in his life when he would have otherwise been out of the house. I've done my part to take full advantage of that in a few ways. Coming up with meals/dishes that sustain, surprise and/or please them has provided one very nice focal point of family unity.

Now I'm back at the office most days and with his first year of grad school coming to a close, he'll probably be moving to an apartment soon. But while times have been tough, we've managed to enjoy some fun times together and I like to think that the meals have been an important part of it.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

From sausage-stuffed peppers on Sunday to sausage and peppers on Monday . . .

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Mise En Place & Enjin SRK8 Gyuto, 210mm
Slivered garlic, red chile flakes, dried oregano, hot Italian sausage, evoo, white wine, onions & green bell peppers, white vinegar and black pepper.

Rendered the sausage in a bit of evoo, then removed it. Sauteed, then simmered, the onions, peppers and garlic in the renderings, then added some white wine and a tiny splash of vinegar. Seasoned it up and let it all cook down (yes, I did add plenty of salt, which I neglected to photograph). Once it had suitably reduced, I added the sausage back, covered it and let it all cook together for about 10 minutes, until the sausage reached 155F.

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Plated Up
Garnished with garlic chives and served with some sauteed zucchini.

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

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Another quickie, after-work dinner prep (though, not as quick as I'd originally envisioned) . . .

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Mise En Place & Yoshikazu Tanaka Blue #1 Kurouchi Gyuto, 210mm
Sliced garlic, minced shallot, microplaned ginger, black pepper, salt, shoyu, peanut oil and the featured ingredient, fioretto.

Just a quick stir fry here until the cauliflower was slightly tender. Didn't want to add too much, especially liquids, because I wanted to keep it fairly dry. That's why I used some salt, and not strictly soy sauce. On that count, I'd say it turned out fine, though not quite a shining success. It was tasty and tender but juicier than I'd hoped for. :( I'm still learning the ins and outs of this ingredient, which doesn't behave quite the same as conventional cauliflower.

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Stir Fried Fioretto
Garnished with scallion tops and chili crisp.

But wait! Mrs. Suburban reminded me about some long beans in the fridge that were on the brink of expiration. Open the pantry and fire that wok back up! :D

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Mise En Place & Yoshikazu Tanaka Blue #1 Kurouchi Gyuto, 210mm
Long beans, crushed garlic, scallion bottoms, scallion tops, oyster sauce, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and mature black vinegar.

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Stir Fried Long Beans
Garnished with scallion tops.

This was another quick stir fry and if the goal was making two vegetable sides with completely different flavor profiles, then I'd say it was a success.

And for the main course, what else but chicken thighs . . . :P

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Charcoal-Grilled Chicken Thighs
On-the-fly rub, mostly Manale with some added pinches of recently-ground cumin and allspice that I really wanted to get RID of.

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Plated Up
Charcoal-grilled chicken thighs, stir fried fioretto and stir fried long beans.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Some pretty weak menu planning this week but hey, you play the hand you're dealt, right? More cauliflower tonight, so it was back to the wok, via the back of the fridge. At least, heading into a few days on which I probably won't be cooking, I managed to get RID of a lot of stuff . . .

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Mise En Place & Takamura Migaki SG2 Gyuto, 210mm
Scallion tops, crushed garlic, leftover Smoque sausage, microplaned ginger, carrot, garlic scapes (buds and stems), scallion bottoms, shallots, peas, 4x pork stock, white pepper, leeks, riced cauliflower, onion, lap cheong, peanut oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, char siu pork and scrambled eggs.

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Plated Up
Garnished with scallion tops, garlic scape buds and chili crisp.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Jeff B »

Amazing what all you can through into a wok together and come out with a great meal. Love my wok!

Looks delish as always Ronnie!
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Jeff B wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:45 pm Amazing what all you can through into a wok together and come out with a great meal. Love my wok!
Absolutely and having cooked nearly every day for over a year, I'm finally beginning to get an intuition for my woks, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Yeah, I own 6 but I'm finally down to just using two of them. 8-) :oops:

It felt very good to be cooking again after a 3-day break. With everyone in our household now at least two weeks past their second vaccination and having shopped for most of this meal in person, somehow making this meal felt a bit different from many others I've cooked lately. Not only did I shop for most of these ingredients in person but it was a trip inside the butcher shop that actually inspired the dish. Seeing the crew at the butcher shop prepping scallopini for another customer reminded me that "Hey! I've wanted to try that for a while, too!"

This is definitely not saltimbocca. Just a riff on it, based on what I bought, what I had on hand and a segment I saw recently on one of the Great Chefs cooking shows where a chef made some veal roulades . . .

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Whole Milk Mozzarella & Unwaxed Dental Floss
This has become my favorite cutting tool for soft cheeses. Not even my skeletonized global cheese knife handles the soft stuff this efficiently.

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Mise En Place & Anryu Kurouchi Damascus Petty, 75mm
Prosciutto, whole milk mozzarella, parsley, scallopini-sliced veal, ramp leaves and garlic chives. Only needed the knife to cut the butcher twine.

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Assembly
Just roll, wrap and tie. As easy as a grade-school art project! :)

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Rolls
Eight nice, little packages. Totally manageable.

Next up, some side dishery . . .

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Broiled Japanese Eggplant
Really glad I remembered I had this because this was just about the last day it was going to be usable. Sliced them lengthwise down the center, brushed them with evoo and broiled the pieces for about 8 minutes.

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Eggplant Sauce Mise & Anryu Blue #2 Hammered Petty, 130mm
Pre-minced shallot, smashed garlic, red chile flakes, parsley leaves, red wine vinegar, evoo, diced tomatoes, salt, red wine and dried oregano.

Just a quick sauce for the eggplant, which I ended up hitting briefly with the stick blender right at the end. Also held back a wee bit of the garlic until very end. That added quite a bit of punch to the sauce without overpowering it. I guess it was Anryu petty day in my kitchen. :roll:

Now, back to the main course . . .

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Seared Rolls
Just a couple of minutes on each side in hot pan in a mix of evoo and unsalted butter. After they browned, I removed them and made a pan sauce using shallots, dried porcinis and some 4x gelatinous beef stock. Once that reduced a bit, I added the rolls back and roasted it all in the oven at 375F convection for ~8 minutes.

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Plated Up
Veal roll-ups in shallot-beef sauce and broiled eggplant with tomato-garlic sauce.

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Interior
I even remembered to remove the string before I ate them! :P
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Picked up some very nice ribeyes at my butcher's the other day so tonight, a quick, after-work, Monday night dinner, mostly on the Weber . . .

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Grilling
These spent a couple of minutes over the coals (flipped and turned once), then finished on the indirect side. They were some big boys and took about 12 minutes to reach 115F.

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Asparagus
Picked this up at the Ellis Farm booth at Green City Market on Saturday morning and it was as good as it gets. The stalks were actually sweet. A perfect use for the fading embers as the steaks rested.

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Salad
The highlight here were the lettuces from the Nichols Farm booth at GCM. Tender, sweet and actually full of flavor. The homemade buttermilk/yogurt ranch dressing wasn't half-bad, either. This was a salad that actually had me wishing for more salad. :shock: 8)

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Plated Up
Grilled ribeyes and asparagus. Please, forgive the odd cut on the steak. Mrs. Suburban and I decided to split this one. In any event, Spring has sprung!

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

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Definitely not pad ka-prao but a completely delicious and easy facsimile -- Pad Bai Horapha -- using unholy Thai basil . . . :wink:

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Mise En Place & Makoto AS Ryusei Gyuto, 210mm
Thai basil, carrot (my own personal bastardization), scallion tops, shallots, garlic, Thai bird chiles, coarsely-ground pork, peanut oil peekaboo, dark sweet soy sauce, Golden Mountain, oyster sauce and fish sauce.

Trying to balance the heat and the sweet to keep everyone in the family happy, so even though I omitted palm sugar, the dark sweet soy + carrot + 3 Crabs (the sweetest fish sauce in my pantry) seemed to get it where it needed to go. Being an after-work edition, I again went with the mini cuisinart to make a paste of the garlic, shallots and chiles. I know it's wrong but it's so fast and easy. :oops:

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Plated Up
Garnished with a sunny side-up egg and some scallion tops. I also enjoyed a serving of the weekly slaw with this but neglected to get a shot of it. It was a surprisingly nice match.

Looking forward to my garden this year since I'll be growing (hopefully) a lot of Thai holy basil. I already have some starts in a raised bed.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Mike9 »

I made a long sauce today for Cinco De Mayo tomorrow. I wanted something quick and easy and remembered I had some 3 cheese tortellini in the ice box. A "quickie" Brodo was perfect. 2cups of basic chicken stock, 1 bullion cube, a little mirepoix, some parsley, thyme, pepper and roasted garlic powder completed the profile. Simmered for about an hour then removed the beg and poured over the tortellini and topped with grated sheep's milk Pecorino Romano and fresh parsley. Very satisfying for a not so nice day (weather wise).

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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by jbart65 »

I've been trying a few different versions of pad ka-prao, Ronnie, after buying a few more Thai cookbooks. My shortcut is to puree the aromatics with my hand blender, dump into my mortar and pound for a few more minutes.

Three Crab is the preferred fish sauce in my house. My wife thinks Thai fish sauces are too ... fishy!

I sometimes add slivered red bell peppers to mine or occasionally Asian eggplant. And lots of onions, sliced from the non-root end so they are more like slivers. I make sure not to cook them all the way thru so there is some crunch.

I'll be setting out my Thai basil, Thai peppers and Thai eggplant (little round ones) next week. I grew them all from seed in my basement grow station. Lemongrass is already in the ground.

My son grew a ton of Holy Basil last year, but I much prefer Thai Queen or regular Thai basil in my dishes. Could have been the type of Holy basil we grew. I might try another.

I see you've been using an Enjin. Love to hear your thoughts, perhaps on the general board thread ...
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

jbart65 wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 11:06 am I've been trying a few different versions of pad ka-prao, Ronnie, after buying a few more Thai cookbooks. My shortcut is to puree the aromatics with my hand blender, dump into my mortar and pound for a few more minutes.

Three Crab is the preferred fish sauce in my house. My wife thinks Thai fish sauces are too ... fishy!

I sometimes add slivered red bell peppers to mine or occasionally Asian eggplant. And lots of onions, sliced from the non-root end so they are more like slivers. I make sure not to cook them all the way thru so there is some crunch.

I'll be setting out my Thai basil, Thai peppers and Thai eggplant (little round ones) next week. I grew them all from seed in my basement grow station. Lemongrass is already in the ground.

My son grew a ton of Holy Basil last year, but I much prefer Thai Queen or regular Thai basil in my dishes. Could have been the type of Holy basil we grew. I might try another.

I see you've been using an Enjin. Love to hear your thoughts, perhaps on the general board thread ...
Hey Jeffry, as always, I really appreciate the benefit of your cooking wisdom, especially on Thai food (btw, which cookbooks are you into right now?). I love the idea of adding onions to pad ka-xxxx. I guess your red bell peppers are my carrots. I like the textural note they add. That's also a great idea, using the stick blender. I don't mind using my mortar & pestle all they way when I have enough time. And yes, I do think it makes a difference in the end product.

I'm so envious of your garden. Even if I were good at it, which I'm not, we have a fairly short growing season here in Chicagoland. Even now, I'm still having to bring my genovese basil plants in at night, as we've had overnight temps in the low 40's. We're past our latest historical freeze date but I'm going to hold off for another week or two before putting plants in the ground.

Once I spend some more time with the Enjin, I'll be sure to post some thoughts about it.

Dinner tonight was an on-the-fly mixed grill. Naturally, I had chicken thighs on hand but I really wanted to try some "kiolbassa" from Costco that had been in the basement fridge for a while. All I can say is, good thing we had the chicken . . . :x

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"Kiolbassa" & Takayuki Grand Chef AEB-L Hankotsu, 150mm
Scoring the sausages.

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Salad
Finished off the great lettuces we bought at last Saturday's Green City Market, and added some arugula and campari tomatoes, along with the end of my buttermilk/yogurt ranch dressing.

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Mixed Grill
Charcoal-grilled chicken thighs and "kiolbassa."

Warning: some items may appear more delicious than they actually are! :P

Flavor on the sausage was okay but they were insanely dense. The bind and definition were completely off and, even scored, the casings were tough. If this were the first time I'd ever had sausage, I'd probably never have it again. Brutal.

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Plated Up
With the end of the asparagus from Saturday's market and the end of the last week's slaw. Yeah, salad and slaw is a bit of overkill but I was trying to offset the double-meat! :D
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by jbart65 »

I just read Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes from the Thai Home Kitchen as well as Thai Hot Kitchen.


Simple Thai Food is the best of many, many Thai cookbooks I’ve read over the years. Perfect for those who want to cook good Thai food without going native.



Ironically, neither of these books include onions in their versions of Pad Ka prao. Yet onions were a given in Boston and New York in the 1990s when I first encountered the recipe and fell in love with Thai food. Baby corn was another ingredient I encountered now and then (but not anymore).

My hand blender is a beast. It’s a Breville. Expensive, but at the highest level of its 1-15 scale, it makes extremely smooth Thai curry paste purées. It’s almost like having a mini Vitamix. I just made red and green curry pastes using my blender and pestle. Came out great.

DC is hotter than Chicago, but it’s dropping to the 40s tonite. I don’t put my basil out until it’s in the high 50s every night. (-:
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Mike9 »

I made Tinga sauce Tuesday for Chicken Tinga Tacos for Cinco de Mayo. Since my wife cannot tolerate much in the way of heat I made a work around. 1qt, basic chicken stock, 2 bullion cubes, medium onion, four gloves of garlic, big Tbs of tomato paste, oregano, parsley, thyme, smoked paprika, two cans of Rotel tomatoes, 1 guajillo, 1 pasilla, and black pepper. I simmered that for a couple/few hrs to reduce then into the blender then into a smaller pot to reduce even more. It has a wonderful developed flavor. I did add 4 chicken thigh bones and the roasted skin to the pot as well and fished them out later.

Tacos made with queso fresco, chicken tinga, lettuce, grape tomatoes and guacamole.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

jbart65 wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 9:48 pm I just read Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes from the Thai Home Kitchen as well as Thai Hot Kitchen.

Simple Thai Food is the best of many, many Thai cookbooks I’ve read over the years. Perfect for those who want to cook good Thai food without going native.

Ironically, neither of these books include onions in their versions of Pad Ka prao. Yet onions were a given in Boston and New York in the 1990s when I first encountered the recipe and fell in love with Thai food. Baby corn was another ingredient I encountered now and then (but not anymore).
If you're talking about Simple Thai Food by Leela Punyaratabandhu, that's been my go-to for a number of years. Yes, it's frustrating about the pad ka-prao recipe not being in the book but it's available at her she simmers website in all its didactic glory. :D That's also my go-to for pad ka-prao.
jbart65 wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 9:48 pm My hand blender is a beast. It’s a Breville. Expensive, but at the highest level of its 1-15 scale, it makes extremely smooth Thai curry paste purées. It’s almost like having a mini Vitamix. I just made red and green curry pastes using my blender and pestle. Came out great.
Okay, I have a Braun and I do like it (metal shaft, good power) but maybe when it eventually dies, I'll step up. Yes, they're pricey but I love all my other Breville kitchen tools.

I worked from home today and as it turns out, I was way busier than I expected. Had I known, I probably would have gone with something less time and labor intensive. But I'd already thawed the pork belly and since I probably won't be cooking again until Sunday, I went ahead nonetheless. However, my day-long ballet between the kitchen and my computer was anything but graceful . . .

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Belly, Bathing Aids & CCK Small Carbon Steel Cleaver
Gave the belly chunks a quick, 10-minute blanching in a bath that including smashed garlic and ginger, leek tops from the freezer and a splash of Shaoxing wine.

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Mise En Place & CCK Small Carbon Steel Cleaver
There are a few stages here. First up was the blanched belly, which got a quick sear in peanut oil and caramelized granulated sugar . . .

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Blanched And Seared Pork Belly

After that browned and came out, in went the Chinese leeks, onions, shallots, garlic and ginger . . .

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Aromatics

After that had all sweated, I put in a ground mixture of the long pepper, white pepper, Sichuan peppercorn, fennel seed, black cardamom and amomum villosum pod. After that, I added the reclaimed blanching liquid (that I'd heavily reduced), both soy sauces, the broad bean paste and the fermented soy beans sauce (hiding under the sugar). After that, this went in . . .

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Sachet
Star anise, licorice root, dried monk fruit, angelica daurica and Tien Tsin chili peppers.

Once the sachet was well-submerged, I added back the blanched and seared belly, stirred it all up, covered it and simmered it for a couple of hours until the belly was fork-tender.

A bunch of little steps happened next (de-fatting, straining reducing, squeezing out the sachet, reseasoning) but I could only choose 2 of these 3: cook, document, work. Unfortunately, work wasn't really a choice and document fell by the wayside.

Very near the end of the cook, when it was essentially ready to serve, I threw in the final two ingredients . . .

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Reconstituted Black Fungus & Chinese Broccoli Greens
I was glad I remembered to soak the fungus earlier in the day. As for the broccoli greens, I more or less ran out of time, so Mrs. Suburban washed them and separated them from the stems to facilitate quicker cooking. I expect the stems will still be usable next time I cook.

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Plated Up
On leftover jasmine rice and garnished with chives. I definitely bit off more than I could chew today but it was worth it. This ended up being one of the best things I've made in a very long time. The pork was tender but not mushy, and really flavorful. The broth was delicious. The fungus and the greens carried the broth well, with the greens imparting a mild bitterness that matched up really well with the rest of the dish. I'll definitely make this again . . . on a frigging weekend! :)
=R=
Half of cooking is thinking about cooking.
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