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Last night I made Ethiopian food for the first time in quite a while: doro wat, ayib begomen (collards with cottage cheese), and injera. The injera was my most successful to date, but since my other efforts have been more or less abject failures, that's not saying a whole lot. I used a different recipe than in the past for doro wat and the sauce wasn't quite right. The hard-boiled eggs for it, however, came out perfectly. I've had a terrible time with hard boiled eggs in recent times, and these came out exactly the way they were supposed to. (I went back to my mother's old way of doing them.)

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Last night was clean the fridge night so we had- sauteed asparagus in butter, lemon and white wine, and then small bits of curried potatoes and peas, tomatoes and onions sauteed in butter and thyme, rice pilaf, roasted chicken and a little shredded roast pork.  

Now I need to come up with a comprehensive plan moving forward, as I may have gone a little overboard with my Costco vegetable buying and need to do some prep so nothing goes to waste.

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Cream of crab and potato soup
Injera
Leftover farro, roasted cauliflower and chickpeas with added Ethiopian spiced butter

The soup was repurposed leftovers from my restaurant lunch of crab fries. There was a small but decent portion left, so I made soup for my husband, figuring I'd already had my share. I threw them in the blender and added some basil leaves, chicken stock, and a few glugs of heavy cream and made a pureed soup. I reheated it in a saucepan, swirling in a little smoked paprika, and topped the bowl of soup with minced chives. I, of course, tested it as I went along ;-). It was good.

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Last night I had a meeting I was hosting, so dinner was cheese plate with salami, cheese, apple and crackers.  Orange segments covered with chocolate.  And the ugliest dip you have ever seen in your life- an avocado, greek yogurt and a packet of onion soup mix.  It was delicious, but the brown mix completely over powered the green avocado and it looked like baby puke.  But it was very tasty.  If one could add some coloring of some sort it might look better.  Served with baby cucumbers quartered lengthwise and carrot sticks.

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9 hours ago, ktmoomau said:

Last night I had a meeting I was hosting, so dinner was cheese plate with salami, cheese, apple and crackers.  Orange segments covered with chocolate.  And the ugliest dip you have ever seen in your life- an avocado, greek yogurt and a packet of onion soup mix.  It was delicious, but the brown mix completely over powered the green avocado and it looked like baby puke.  But it was very tasty.  If one could add some coloring of some sort it might look better.  Served with baby cucumbers quartered lengthwise and carrot sticks.

Sounds delicious but what a description!!!!!

Last night I made:

  • Roasted butternut squash-carrot soup
  • Lentil curry (using the medium Golden Curry mix and including carrots, onions, potatoes, and peas) with rice and frozen parathas
  • Oven-baked chicken wings, tossed in the all-purpose Gochujang sauce we now use for everything (original Dad Cooks Dinner recipe here and now my husband just riffs on it whenever we need a sauce) - never made plain oven-baked wings before, but wanted to try the baking-powder trick (hey, did you know that baking powder can have sodium aluminum sulfate in it? I didn't until now! Even if there aren't proven health effects for avoiding ingested Al, there can be metallic taste implications, so we've now switched to Al-free) to see if they would ever become adequately crispy.   They take forever (solid hour+) and don't look like much (never got really browned), but once tossed in sauce they suddenly looked just like deep-fried wings from a restaurant, and tasted pretty darn close. I'll call it a win for when we want to gorge on wings.  BTW, I had one rack so I made one pan with the wings up on a rack and one pan with the wings on parchment paper on the pan. The racked wings were definitely crispier, but a little tougher and the rack is kind of a pain to scrub. The unracked wings were oilier because they cooked in their own fat but got a little browner and were a bit juicier.  Oh, also I had to flip the unracked wings once midway through cooking.  Overall not a huge difference and since we'll always toss them in sauce anyway I'll go with unracked in the future.

Over the weekend we made a ton of meatballs, a meaty marinara, pasta, lots of guacamole, and a couple pans of roasted zucchini.

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Tonight was a Giada DeLaurentiis recipe for Mortadella Meatball Sliders with pistachio pesto. In addition to mortadella, there is ground pork for heft, plus fillers and seasonings. We also had Utz potato chips. The sliders, which also involve baby arugula, were very good. I have a lot left over. The pesto came out extremely well. At some point, I had a pistachio pesto recipe, and I'd forgotten how good it can be. I have 4 more slider rolls (whole wheat), so I think we'll have more for lunch tomorrow. There should be enough excess pesto to make some kind of pasta dish with the last of it.

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Tonight was vegan night at Casa TrelayneNYC and I'm snacking on some chilled diced pineapple as I type this...

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The first two pictures are approx. 1 kg of wild and cultivated mushrooms. The first bowl contains black pearl oyster mushrooms and baby shiitake mushrooms, and the bowl in the bottom picture has yellowfoot chanterelle mushrooms.

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Clockwise from bottom left:  porcini broth; yellowfoot mushrooms; baby shiitake mushrooms; black pearl oyster mushrooms; thyme leaves; red pepper flakes; sage leaves; flour; tomato paste; garlic paste (3 garlic cloves, smashed and pounded into a paste in a mortar and pestle along with a pinch of salt); diced onion; olive oil.

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The porcini broth consists of 10 g dried porcini mushrooms combined with 150 g diced onion, 100 g diced celery, 60 g diced carrots, 1 bay leaf and 710 ml water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes. Strain liquid into a small saucepot and keep on another burner, on low heat.

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You can smash the garlic cloves into a paste using the tines of a fork, or pound them in a mortar and pestle.

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It'll become something like this after a few minutes.

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Porcini broth. Leave this unseasoned since you'll be using it later on.

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Warm olive oil in a pan, then fry onions until browned. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer onions to a small bowl.

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Add mushrooms to the pan. Cook until the mushrooms begin to exude some liquid. Eventually they'll reabsorb the juices and begin to brown. At that point, add the garlic paste and herbs to the pan. Stir them in and cook for a minute. Reduce heat to medium.

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Add the onions back to the pan.

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Stir in the tomato paste. Fry for a minute, then stir in the flour.

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Cook for one more minute, then add in the porcini broth, a ladleful at a time. Cook until ragu reaches your desired consistency. Taste for salt and pepper, stir in some chopped parsley, then serve at once.

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Curly endive salad with orange and oil-cured black olives
Wild mushroom ragù, served over pearl barley and pigeon peas

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I made a NY Times recipe for honey and harissa roasted brussels sprouts last night. I mixed the lemon into the coating for the sprouts, kind of by accident, but it worked well. I didn't make the relish. I put the shallot I had prepped for the relish before changing my mind into a kind of creamed spinach dish with creme fraiche and feta. Salad: green leaf lettuce, tomato, and cucumber with ranch. The various vegetable preparations were served with London broil. I made the meat the same way I've been doing it, but it was a little tougher this time than it has been.

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Friday night was fish tacos with tilapia that I fried in a tempura batter, with a sriracha honey lime coleslaw, avocado and hot sauce.

We used the leftover fried fish for fish sandwiches on white bread with mayo, lettuce and tomato.

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Tonight Hubby smoked ribs, I made a tomato, cucumber salad and cole slaw and potato wedges to go with his triumphant first smoker experiment.  

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47 minutes ago, TrelayneNYC said:

Mussakhan, from "Zaitoun" by Yasmin Khan, page 179.

Does the skin stay crispy? I can't imagine it would.

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Then I prepped dinner in advance for Monday and Tuesday this week:

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Pesce alla ghiotta, from Two Kitchens by Rachel Roddy, page 252.

Her recipes are in metric, which isn't a big deal to me considering that I can convert easily but it might be a challenge for others.

Quantities listed below are what I used tonight and differ slightly from the book:

1 onion
3 celery stalks, with leaves
790 g crushed tomatoes
3 g granulated sugar
30 g capers packed in salt, rinsed
60 g green olives
4 rock cod fillets
salt
freshly ground black pepper

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33 minutes ago, Smita Nordwall said:

Does the skin stay crispy? I can't imagine it would. 

No, but it's tasty nonetheless.

If I made this again, I would probably salt and pepper a whole chicken 2-3 days in advance (per Judy Rogers' Zuni Cafe cookbook), slather on a spice paste and marinate for an hour, then roast.

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11 hours ago, TrelayneNYC said:

Then I prepped dinner in advance for Monday and Tuesday this week:

How does the fish work out in a make-ahead preparation? I often have fish left after I make it the first time and then try to use it right away in something else. I can't recall making fish ahead of time to serve a day or two later.

Last night I made the spinach pie I've been working on developing into an actual recipe. I had creme fraiche that needed to be used and put that into the filling as well as the usual cheeses, meat, etc.. I found it a little too wet.

I didn't have the lamb merguez sausage I usually put in the pie so I made my own with some ground lamb and a Pierre Franey recipe. I made about a half recipe, which was more than I needed. Going to cook the rest of it up today.

These are the amounts for a full sausage recipe:

1 ½ pounds ground lamb
1 teaspoon paprika [I used smoked]
½ teaspoon crushed dried, hot red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt to taste if desired
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon corn, peanut or vegetable oil [for cooking the sausage patties]

 

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15 hours ago, Pat said:

How does the fish work out in a make-ahead preparation? I often have fish left after I make it the first time and then try to use it right away in something else. I can't recall making fish ahead of time to serve a day or two later.

It's not any more different than fish soup or clam chowder. I imagine you do have leftovers? The only difference is that this will be eaten tonight.

The bonus is that the sauce can also be used for pasta and the flavors develop marvelously.

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9 hours ago, TrelayneNYC said:

It's not any more different than fish soup or clam chowder. I imagine you do have leftovers? The only difference is that this will be eaten tonight.

The bonus is that the sauce can also be used for pasta and the flavors develop marvelously.

Thanks. This looks like it might be an interesting dish to try.

Last night we had more of the mortadella meatball sliders, plus chicken noodle soup from homemade stock, and potato chips.

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Last night was lobster ravioli with cherry tomatoes and asparagus cooked in butter and some pasta water with Parmesan.  

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I improvised a good meal tonight. I made what I will call bruschetta pastry bites: pie dough in mini muffin tins, filled with minced basil and mozzarella cheese and topped with a cherry tomato half; and pesto penne with leftover pistachio pesto, crumbled merguez sausage, chopped cherry tomatoes, English peas, and Parmesan.

I had an extra premade pie crust after I made spinach pie a couple days ago. I had put it in a ziploc back in the fridge because the dough had broken apart badly when I took it out of the box. (I've had this problem before with TJ's pie crusts.)  It was the right amount to fill two 12 hole mini muffin tins with crust. This was really unbelievably good.

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Tonight was fridge salad- kale and lettuce, leftover cucumber tomato salad, leftover roast asparagus, a few cherry tomatoes we hadn't used, leftover roasted potato wedges chopped, bacon, some of the turkey that needed to be used, blue cheese, homemade ranch dressing.

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OMG TrelayneNYC, all your food but especially that mushroom ragu!!! #foodgoals in the extreme!

On the much simpler end of the cooking spectrum, on Tuesday I made:

  • 4 pans of roasted asparagus, cauliflower, and zucchini
  • chicken congee
  • the Thai eggplant/pepper/basil dish that's super limey, which comes out much better than my black-bean sauce version
  • guacamole
  • white rice

Earlier this week we'd made separate cheese, pepperoni (well, salume), and white sauce-mushroom pizzas, KBBQ-marinated sirloin steaks, a double batch of GF, peanut-butter cookies, and pesto chicken salad that we've been eating over greens all week.  For eating the steak, my husband has been cooking up a few Costco panko-coated fried shrimp in the toaster oven in order to have surf-n-turf meals and has been very happy. 

 

 

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Steelhead trout baked with hot pepper vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic and lemon juice.

Roasted cauliflower and roasted organic frozen corn from Trader Joe’s.

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I didn't feel like cooking last night and we didn't have much in the way of leftovers. Usually I have no trouble getting inspiration but I didn't have any. I stopped at TJ's to buy pita, and they were out of it, so I bought garlic naan and some grape tomatoes. Dinner was a spread of naan, Cava roasted garlic hummus, steamed broccoli, and baby carrots; wild rice with shallot and green pepper; and a salad of iceberg lettuce, grape tomatoes, green pepper, and avocado with bottled ranch dressing. The rice and vegetables were underseasoned, but this otherwise turned out fine.

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Tacos:  Pinto bean puree, scrambled eggs, guac, salsa, watercress, radish, lime

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On 3/5/2019 at 9:40 AM, Pat said:

Thanks. This looks like it might be an interesting dish to try.

So, I made the Pesce alla ghiotta that TrelayneNYC posted the other day. It came out really well. I found the actual recipe from the book on google books. I used two pieces of cod about 8 oz. each. So glad you posted this!  I served it with boiled yukon gold potatoes with butter and parsley and more of the salad from the day before, but with radishes added. We also had more of the garlic naan.

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