What did you cook today?

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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Other than assembling that spinach casserole (above) to take with us tonight, this is the only thing I'll likely cook today. Saturday brunch omelet . . .

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Newsom Ham & Cheeses Omelet

Garnished with chive blossoms and flanked by a slice of toasted/buttered country boule from Hewn.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by d_rap »

Keep 'em coming Ronnie, I read these every day. Chive blossoms. Love it!
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

d_rap wrote: Sat May 29, 2021 3:54 pm Chive blossoms. Love it!
Well, they keep coming so, as you'll see, I'll keep using them. Tonight, more Thai flavors. Recently got a new mortar & pestle, so I was inspired to wing it on a marinade for a chicken . . .

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Mise En Place & Kohetsu Blue #2 Addict, 240mm
In the mortar: Thai birds eye chiles, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, shallots and palm sugar in the center. Around the outside: fish sauce, oyster sauce, vegetable oil, salt, turmeric, soy sauce and a lime (later juiced).

Mashed everything in the mortar into a paste, then combined that paste with the other ingredients to create the marinade.

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Mortar
This banging new Thai mortar (and pestle, not pictured) are just what I needed. I was really happy with how much easier it was to paste everything together in this unit, compared to my older one(s). This one holds 3+ cups and is deep enough to bang away without having stuff spray out all over the place.

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Spatchcocked Chicken, Marinade & Tojiro Kitchen Shears
I love these shears but they're pretty new and this is the first time I can remember using them on poultry. They made quick work of spatchcocking this bird. The finished marinade (top left) awaits deployment. And I immediately made a mini batch of stock with the backbone (ended up with about a pint).

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Marinating
I let this marinate for about 6 hours, flipping the bird at the halfway point.

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Grilling
Figured a 3-zone fire was the way to go -- a small pile of lump on each side of the kettle and plenty of negative space at 12 and 6, so that the bird would cook evenly. It ended up taking about 30 minutes, covered, in the indirect space.

And of course, there was also side dishery . . .

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Baby Eggplants & Kohetsu Blue #2 Addict, 240mm
Sliced this into discs, then salted them (for about an hour) and patted them dry with a paper towel. After that, I roasted them in the oven, basting with the leftover sauce from last week's bok choy (reduced to a glaze, then fortified with fresh garlic and gochujang).

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Salad
A large assortment of all kinds of greens from Three Sisters Garden, campari tomatoes and some homemade 1002 Island dressing (standard, homemade thousand with some other business added).

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Plated Up
Charcoal-grilled chicken and roasted eggplant, garnished with -- what else? -- a confetti of chive blossoms! :D
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Jeff B »

Another great looking meal Ronnie. I haven't spatchcocked a chicken in a couple years, got one thawing now. ;)
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Jeff B wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 10:54 am Another great looking meal Ronnie. I haven't spatchcocked a chicken in a couple years, got one thawing now. ;)
It'd been a while for me, too. But you gotta mix it up everyone once in a while, right? After all, man does not live by chicken thighs alone! :lol:
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Had several ingredients leftover from the Saturday night spinach casserole, so I decided to omeletize them . . .

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Ricotta, Buffalo Mozzarella & Sauteed Onion Omelet
All the fillings were strictly Saturday spinach casserole surplus. Garnished with the seemingly never-ending supply of chives and chive blossoms.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by d_rap »

👍👍

I've seen it mentioned before, but great reminder on the 3-zone. I roast/smoke whole chickens on the Weber quite a bit, just use standard indirect, but I'll try that next time.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

d_rap wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 2:51 pm 👍👍

I've seen it mentioned before, but great reminder on the 3-zone. I roast/smoke whole chickens on the Weber quite a bit, just use standard indirect, but I'll try that next time.
It worked out pretty well. The dark meat and the white meat reached their respective temperatures at the same time, which is all you can really hope for.

Was thinking back to a recent video at Chinese Cooking Demystified's youtube channel when I decided I wanted to take another stab at smashed cucumber. I'd made it once last fall but seeing the video reminded me of how much I love the dish. This video actually focuses on Chinese drinking food, and in it, Steph suggests that it's a good accompaniment for beer. No doubt that's true but it was also just fine with my beverage of choice today: bubbly water.

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Mise En Place & Kohetsu Blue #2 Addict, 240mm
Cilantro, crushed garlic, cucumbers (ended up using 3), salt, msg, spicy chili crisp, soy sauce, mature black vinegar and toasted sesame oil.

Peel, split lengthwise and smash the cucumbers with a cleaver or heavy knife (the Addict worked just fine :wink:). I seeded most of the cukes but left a couple of portions with the seeds intact. After that, cut them into ~1" pieces and mix them up with everything else.

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Plated Up
I really do love this dish and it turned out great but I'm guessing it can be improved upon by letting the cucumbers sit in the salt for an hour or so, then draining them and proceeding with assembly. I'll give it a shot that way next time.

As for the rest of dinner, after not having it for a year and a half, somehow it was Part Two of our recent flank steak acquisition. Twice in four days. One might say that our weekend was flanked by flank steak :lol: (yeah, sorry about that) . . .

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Hot Off The Grill
Oiled, seasoned and grilled direct for about 10 minutes.

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Plated Up
Charcoal-grilled flank steak, smashed cucumber and leftover/reheated roasted eggplant from Sunday night's dinner.

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

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Quickie, after-work dinner tonight. My main goal was using up some really great fresh ricotta before it lost its magic . . .

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Assorted Grilled Sausages
Hot Italian sausage in the middle. The other two are different types of chicken sausages from Costco, neither of which really wowed me. But now, at least they're made and the family can lunch them up over the rest of the week.

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Caprese Salad
Normally I wouldn't bother with this with such average tomatoes but as I mentioned up top, this Calabro fresh ricotta is out of this world. I was too embarrassed to eat it directly out of the container with a spoon, so I decided this would be a good use for it. Garnished it with evoo, balsamic, flake salt and black pepper.

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Plated Up
Snausages, caprese salad and Mrs. Suburban's world-renowned roasted cauliflower.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

More quick and simple after-work fare. I've been leaning heavily on the grill lately but I guess that's been true for pretty much the last 30 years or so. However, right now, with longer work days and beautiful weather, grilling assures that the cooking is quick, the clean-up is a breeze, and after a day in front of my screen, it's an absolute pleasure to sit outside from the beginning of the cook to the end . . .

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Ribeyes
Righteous steaks from my butcher's shop. Seasoned, oiled and ready for the grill. Really cannot get enough of the Manale spice rub, which has become my go-to over the past few months. I initially made it as part of a copycat recipe for BBQ shrimp from Pascal's Manale but it's found a permanent home in our kitchen.

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Grilling
These were some big steaks. I made two to feed three of us. After the initial, direct marking over the coals, these took about 12 minutes, covered, on the indirect side to finish. That's quite a bit longer than usual but again, these were massive cuts.

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Plated Up
With sauteed broccolini (evoo, garlic, red chile flakes, salt, black pepper and fresh lemon juice). The boyo and I finished off the end of the leftover smashed cucumber, too.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Still very much in the honeymoon stage with my new mortar & pestle, so more Thai tonight . . .

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Som Tum
Garlic, salt-dried shrimp, Thai birds eye chiles, palm sugar, lime wedges and roasted peanuts.

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Paste
Yes, I know it's a poor workman who blames his tools but I can honestly say my previous difficulties with this age-old device seem to have had more to do with the small size and too-smooth surface texture of the unit I recently retired.

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Pad Ka-Prao Mise En Place & Kurosaki HAP40 Gyuto, 210mm
In the mortar: garlic, Thai birds eye chiles and shallots. Around the exterior: Thai basil, coarsely ground pork, soy sauce, dark sweet soy sauce, oyster sauce, Golden Mountain, fish sauce and green beans.

Just getting started with this knife, which is a serious departure from any other knife I own profile-wise. Granted, I didn't do a lot of cutting today but I was surprised by what a seamless transition it was to this tip-style. Looking forward to using it more and seeing how it differs over the long run.

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More Mortarings
This round: garlic, shallots and Thai birds eye chiles.

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Hot, Aromatic Paste
This took about 5 minutes and it was a fine way to blow off some workday steam! :lol:

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Plated Up
With some brown jasmine rice from the rice cooker.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Received some beautiful chicken of the woods mushrooms, had a ribeye in the freezer and had some green beans that were only about half-green (but still firm), so decided on a stir fry . . .

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Chicken Of The Woods
Very meaty and firm specimens. Was happy to have them but knew I'd have to beat them down a bit to get them to a palatable state (for me).

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Mise En Place & Kurosaki HAP40 Gyuto, 210mm
Brownish green beans, sliced garlic, ground Sichuan peppercorns, white pepper, purple spring onions, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, soy sauce, peanut oil and ribeye steak.

I pre-cooked the mushrooms in a little peanut oil, some Shaoxing wine and a bit of the sliced garlic to soften them up and bring out their meatiness. From there, I built the rest of the stir fry, starting by searing the meat, then removing it until the very end. That approach worked out well.

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Platter
As you can probably see from the texture, I ended up adding a small, 1T cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce.

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Plated Up
In addition to garnishing with chives and chive blossoms, I also added a few blobs of spicy chili crisp to my servings (yes, I had seconds!). Was really pleased using the chicken of the woods in this application. After I pre-cooked them, they were delicious on their own but this ended up being a fun and tasty way to use them. To the bite, they were nearly as meaty as the ribeye, which was very satisfying. Next time, I'll probably omit the meat entirely (and maybe sub in some tofu).

edits: typos
Last edited by ronnie_suburban on Sun Jun 06, 2021 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by d_rap »

Really hungry and just starting to cook here. If you weren't 2000 miles away I would ask you if you had any leftovers. Some of my favorite mushrooms Ronnie, wow that looks great.

By the way glad to see I'm not the only one who jumped on Kurosaki-san's latest. Bunka on my end, eager to hear your thoughts on the gyuto.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Altadan »

"I built the rest of the stir fry, starting by searing the meat, then removing it until the very end. That approach worked out well."

I find the same is true for me. I've been back at the wok lately, to the chagrin of my eldest and the joy of us parents. I just love the warm-yet-crunchy veg, with the soy-garlic-ginger pallet!
Your everything looks superb, Ronnie, as usual ;-)
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

d_rap wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:23 pm Some of my favorite mushrooms Ronnie, wow that looks great.

By the way glad to see I'm not the only one who jumped on Kurosaki-san's latest. Bunka on my end, eager to hear your thoughts on the gyuto.
Yeah, CoTW are really delicious. I'm fortunate because last year when the lockdown was raging, a local forager who normally supplies restaurants, got in touch and started offering me stuff on a regular basis. I was happy to take some items off her hands and even now, as things are opening up, she's kept in touch and occasionally offers me items like the CoTW. I also have a pound of wine caps from her that I'll be cooking soon.

The new Kurosaki HAP40 is super interesting. The 210mm gyuto is not only a departure from any of the other knives I own but seemingly, a big departure from any other knives he's made (at least, that I know of, though, I am a n00b). It's fairly compact in scale, so in some ways, it performs like a long petty. I haven't used it much yet but the clip point (sorry, that's the edc term I'd use to describe it) has proven convenient and useful so far. The blade is smooth and well polished; not quite mirror but close. So, as you posted, food release is not great. Other than that, I really like it so far. And HAP40 has its advantages. Very glad I took a chance on this one.
Altadan wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:02 am "I built the rest of the stir fry, starting by searing the meat, then removing it until the very end. That approach worked out well."

I find the same is true for me. I've been back at the wok lately, to the chagrin of my eldest and the joy of us parents. I just love the warm-yet-crunchy veg, with the soy-garlic-ginger pallet!
Haha, yep. The wok is easy, versatile and effective. It turns out great food and it's hard to beat the one pot clean-up. Searing the protein is a key to developing flavors. But as briefly as I try cook of the veg, I found that often when leaving proteins in from beginning to end, it was just too much time and they overcooked. They can still do their thing even when not in the wok for the entire cook. And it's nice having a wok-cooked beef dish where the beef is still medium-rare.

Brunch today, found a nice use for some leftover restaurant dal makhani . . .

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Over-Easy Eggs & Dal Makhani
Garnished with chives, chive blossoms and cotija.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

All-grilled dinner* tonight . . .

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Spatchcocked Chicken
This worked out so well last week, I thought I'd give it another shot. This time, I marinated in a 5:1 mixture of buttermilk and hot sauce for about 6 hours, then dried it and seasoned it with Manale spice powder. Used a 3-zone fire again.

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Grilled Group
Chicken, asparagus (evoo, salt & black pepper) and zucchini (evoo, dijon mustard, vinegar & fresh oregano from our garden).

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Plated Up
Running low on chive blossoms but still had few left for garnishing tonight! :P

*Bonus item:
I received some English cucumbers in my CSA box this week, so I was eager to take another shot at Smacked Cucumbers, since I really love that dish and it gets better for a few day as it ages . . .

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Smacked Cucumbers & Dexter Cleaver
Needless to say, the 8-pound Dexter had no issues smacking the cukes! :P

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Smacked, Chopped Cukes & Nigara SG2 Damascus Gyuto, 210mm
As lovely a job as the Dexter did smashing, cutting is definitely not its strength. So, I brought the Nigara in from the bullpen. It was definitely overkill but so much fun.

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Smacked Cucumber
Unlike last time, this time I pre-salted and drained the prepped cucumber, which improved the final product noticeably.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

A year ago, I never would have expected that an after-work, Monday night, back-to-basics dinner meant Thai-style red curry and yet, here we are . . .

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Mise En Place & Nigara SG2 Damascus Gyuto, 210mm
Fresh bamboo shoots, Thai birds eye chilis & kaffir lime leaves, extra firm tofu, Bangkok spice blend (for the chicken), peanut oil, gelatinous chicken stock, curry paste, coconut milk, gapi, purple spring onions, basil leaves, zucchini, fish sauce, Thai eggplant, kale, chicken thigh meat and shimeji mushrooms.

Yes, way too much going on here but I used the Big Daddy 18" wok, as one goal was to just get RID of a bunch of items in the fridge. It was nice to have fresh bamboo shoots and Thai eggplant in the same batch of curry and while I do have some leads, I still haven't happened upon a local store that's had both (in stock) at the same time.

Though I am a huge fan of Maesri curry pastes, I really wanted to try the Aroy-D because their coconut milk is my favorite. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about their red curry paste. It was very good but not great and definitely not in the same league as the Maesri. The Aroy-D was saltier, more one-dimensional and lacking in funkiness. I'm glad I tried it but I'll stick with the Maesri going forward.

The Nigara, newly-acquired, is kind of unbelievable. Not only is it beautiful but it was also a joy to use on the variety of ingredients in the curry. Seeing and touching the sides of the blade, one might expect some drag while cutting but having used it now for a couple of days, I haven't experienced any of that at all. For me, its balance and edge profile are a very good fit.

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Plated Up
Garnished with the soon-to-be-86'd chive blossoms and some Zojirushi'd brown jasmine rice.

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

Post by Mike9 »

It was freakin' HOT yesterday and I wanted something cool. I poached some shrimp in white wine with garlic, parsley, peperoncino, salt, pepper and a little smoked paprika. Simmered to cook off the alcohol then gently poached the shrimp on both sides then removed to the icebox to chill. I simmered the liquid to reduce and micro waved two ears of corn for 4 minutes. I squeezed them out of the husk and when cool enough to handle cut off the kernels and milked the cobs with the back of a knife. I diced some roast red pepper and set aside. When the liquid had reduced I added butter, the corn and milk, a shot of heavy cream and mashed. When it had thickened I added the red peppers and removed from the heat and adjusted for seasoning. I let if cool a bit then plated. A quick cocktail sauce was in order as well.

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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Charcoal-grilled tri-tip on the menu at Chez Suburban tonight. But first, as is so often the case, side-dishery . . .

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Mise En Place & Nigara SG2 Damascus Gyuto, 210mm
Locally foraged wine caps, salt, black pepper, gelatinous chicken stock, miso/sake blend, red wine, spring onion tops, spring onion bottoms, evoo and parted out/minced green garlic.

Normally, I'd take a simpler, less adorned approach with wine caps but it took me a few days to get to them and they were a bit beat up.

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Sauteed Wine Caps
In spite of it all, still quite delicious.

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Raw Tri-Tip
A very nicely marbled cut. When I saw it in the case at my butcher's shop, I knew it was coming home with me. :)

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Grilled Veg
More asparagus and more spring onions. We are (well, were) really long on spring onions, so I decided to grill some in addition to including them with the mushrooms. As for my seasonal asparagus fatigue, well, I'm finally beginning to get there. :wink:

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Grilled Tri-Tip
A few minutes directly over the coals and about 15 minutes indirect and covered.

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Plated Up
Still working those chive blossoms! :P
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Thursday is CSA day which, I guess, means that Wednesday is going to be 'get RID of as much as we can' night . . .

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Mise En Place & Kanjo ZDP189 Gyuto, 210mm
Bulb onions, slivered garlic, bok choy, evoo, white wine, tomato paste, spinach and from our garden, fresh oregano.

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Sauteed Vegetable Mish Mosh
I guess this is proof that if you start with decent ingredients, you're probably going to end up with something tasty. I never would have planned on combining bok choy and spinach but it worked out well. I did wilt/drain/squeeze/chop the spinach before I combined it with everything else. I figured that adding it directly would just make everything watery. As for the tomato paste, I used a wee small amount, about 1 tablespoon.

Not from our CSA, but also expiring, were some eggplants. So, I decided to glaze and oven-roast them . . .

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Eggplant Glaze Mise En Place
Slivered garlic (later minced), sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil, peanut oil, salted/drained eggplant, gochugaru, gochujang, chili sauce (I think this has been in our fridge for over 10 years! :lol:) and apple cider vinegar.

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Prepped Eggplant
Ready for about an hour at 350F. I drizzled a little water in the pan, just to avoid any burning/scorching and replenished it at the halfway mark.

It had been a while but after a couple of whole, spatchcocked birds, we were back to chicken thighs . . .

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Grilling
Had gone with a dry rub and cooked the thighs most of the way, when I figured that applying some of the eggplant glaze might be a nice way to finish the chicken. Turns out, it was.

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Plated Up
Garnished with the ever-dwindling chive blossoms.

Tomorrow, another big-ass box of produce will be here! :shock:
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