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Fun with leftovers last night.

Lentil - tomato soup
Roasted yellow and baby red beet salad with avocado, fresh mandarin sections, fresh mint, Marcona almonds, and feta; mimosa vinaigrette
Tiny lamb meatballs and spinach
Yogurt sauce
TJ's cauliflower tabbouleh

Plus, whole wheat naan and butter

I was particularly impressed with the salad I put together. It looked beautiful plated.

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Leftover lentil - tomato soup
Whole wheat naan
Leftover meatloaf
Leftover peas with butter and mint
Roasted tiny potatoes and orange bell pepper strips
 

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Baked Huevos Rancheros
Chicken tacos (corn tortillas, salsa verde, tomatoes, shredded Monterey Jack, cilantro)
Leftover mashed sweet potatoes
Leftover refried beans

I had come across the baked huevos rancheros recipe a while ago and was really intrigued by it. I made 2 small Le Creuset ramekins of it, just large enough for one egg in the middle, instead of doing a full-sized version. I did make a full batch of the sauce, which was quick and very good, so I've got to find something else to do with that. This was wonderful. I would totally make it again. Highly recommend.

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Friday:

Veggie soup flavored with pancetta & prosciutto, parmigiano. Romanesco, onion, leek etc. 

Saturday Lunch:

Pork Belly pan fried till crispy, served w/fermented mustard & homemade sauerkraut.

Saturday Dinner:

The koji marinated chicken breast which was other worldly. I took koji rice and ground it to a powder and then coated the breasts and left them for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator. Took a pan and tossed some blanched brussels sprouts in the pan and let them pan roast util they started to pick up some browning. Then increased the heat and put the breasts in seasoning with black cumin, spice rub, salt & pepper. The chicken texture was smooth and homogeneous, instead of stringy at all. The flavors had a bit of funk and a bit of sweetness. The chicken flavor was magnified. The sprouts picked up a nice roasted edge and complemented the chicken well. The bitter of the sprouts a perfect foil for the sweetness of the chicken.

Perfect Manhattan: Old Overholt, Cocchi Rosa and Americano, Peychauds Barrel Aged aromatic bitters and Bittermen's Orange Citrate Cream. Garnished with 2 Luxardo cherries. 

Wine: Illuminati Pecorino which was a bit light for the chicken. 

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23 hours ago, Pat said:

I did make a full batch of the sauce, which was quick and very good, so I've got to find something else to do with that.

I made a quick chicken tortilla soup for lunch yesterday to use the last of the shredded chicken I had. I started with the last of the poaching liquid from when I first made the chicken, a little bit of broth base since the liquid was pretty weak, and then added some of the ranchero tomato sauce. Since the sauce had onion, garlic, and bell and jalapeno peppers, I made sure to scoop some of those into the soup. Added the chicken for the last bit of cooking. I grabbed some excess grated cheese from making the tacos, fried up the last couple tortillas in strips for the top of the soup, and voila, a good lunch soup. Off topic for the dinner thread, but that's what I did with some of the leftover ranchero sauce. 🙃

Last night we had the last of the turkey scaloppini with cranberry sauce. Also made a pasta dish from a recipe that had kind of fall flavors. It was spaghetti with butternut squash and a maple/orange - sage oil sauce.

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Iceberg lettuce and radicchio, radishes, shredded monterey jack cheese and shaved Parmesan; mimosa vinaigrette
London broil a la James Beard
Leftover tiny roasted potatoes and bell pepper strips
Steamed broccoli

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Last week was a big batch of beef vegetable soup, with beef roast that I cooked in the instant pot with some beef broth, and then once easy to cut/shred, I added to a dutch oven with some vegetables from the freezer- corn, peas, green beans, limas and crushed tomatoes.  Bay leaf, oregano, a little seasoned salt that I am trying to use up, and pepper.  Hot sauce and saltines on the side.

Last night was ground turkey, bell pepper and onion stuffed enchilladas with red chile sauce and cheese.  Served with a can of Trader Joes Cuban style black beans (which I really like as they seem a bit softer from the can and are a bit easier to digest) and guacamole.

Tonight will be tamales that I defrosted from the freezer. And then a reckoning of sorts for what I want to cook going forward.  The fridge is a little empty, the pantry has a lot of items, but not full meals, I kind of need to do ingredient cull. 

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A long day of shopping ended at Lotte Plaza at Braddock and 495. I picked up some seafood mushrroms {they look like enoki on steroids, no fish flavor at all} and king trumpets. They have a good fish department and I found fresh conch and fresh 10/20 scallops. I had also bought a lot of greens and stuff at the farmer's market and we had a wide variety of choices.

Once home, I made a soup of dashi, the two kinds of mushrooms, some silken tofu. the outer leaves from trimming brussels sprouts, a few leaves of Tokyo bekana, one mall harukei turnip and half of the Korean cuke {from Shenandoah seasonals} and the last third of the jalapeno. By mistake, instead of salting the conch boiling liquid, I salted the dash stock but it was not too salty at all. I finished the soup with sesame oil, persimmon vinegar & a drop of soy & sansho pepper. One trick I used with the tofu {thanks to a tip from Tabi eats on YouTube was to boil the tofu in salted water for 1 minute and then drain. It really improves the flavor.

I made a lime, jalapeno & fermented red onion ceviche with the scallop. It needed a surprosing bit of salt to bring out flavor but was very nice

The conch came with a recommendation to cook it in boiling water not too long. A look on google led to try 3 minutes of boiling followed by 2 of soaking in the hot water, then being taken and sliced. At this point, the sliced were incredibly tough and I was regretting not making a conch fritter. But I had an idea and I tossed the slices in 1 Tbsp shio koji, juice of one lemon, half a Korean cuke sliced, a little jalapeno, lots of salt & pepper. We let it sit for 20 minuted while we are our first course soup. When we came back to it, time, the marinade, the shio koji or a convex combination of the three had rendered the conch firm without a crunch. It has a briny sweet flavor that was mild yet addicting. We used a slice of seylou bread to soak up every drop. 

Drink: Hardywood West Coast style IPA {very eh beer from a brewery I have heard so much good about} and a can of Solace Hops Out IPA which was lemony, full body and quite fine. It is also a session IPA with 4.5% abv.}Solace is probably my favorite local brewer these days and I have a four pack of their Juicy Lucy DIPA in the fridge.

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18 hours ago, Smita Nordwall said:

Please tell me more about the fermented red onion. 

One of my lesser efforts in the lactofermentation departments. Sliced onion into half rings, made a brine of 5% salt by weight using a sea salt. I used peppercorns, red chile flakes, rosemary The fermentation lasted about a week in a ball jar with a fermentation lock lid. Then put a regular lid on and put it in the refrigeration. The result was not as sour and funky as other lactofementations. The onions have a nice crunch but not much zing. Sometimes lactofermented pickles develop in the fridge so I am not using them much and waiting.

These were local farm red onions. They may have a different sugar content from commercial onions.  I am thinking of using some shio koji in the brine. That would help breakdown carbs in the onions to sugar. 

I could retry the fermentation with 3% brine, but I have taken to 5% almost exclusively. The last factor to consider is out kitchen where I leave the fermentations is a little on the cool side: 68 degrees unless I have the oven or a big pot of liquids on. Maybe at a higher ambient temperature I would get a more interesting result. But this is the temperature I did my sauerkraut, kimchi and many batches of giardinera at and they all came out spectacular. 

My favorite way to pickle onions is to use a good quality commercial grade balsamico and just cover the onions about 3/4 and leave them on the counter for a day or 2.  They keep forever in the fridge but the onions do get softer over time. This is what we used at the Grotto. 

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We had an almost vegetarian meal last night. I contemplated omitting bacon so it would have been but decided to go ahead with the bacon as a real small part of the meal. I've been discovering an increasing number of our meals are vegetarian or vegan after the fact lately without planning it that way. With this one it occurred to me mid-preparation.

Salad of red leaf lettuce, radishes, cucumber, and tomato; Bolthouse Farms Avocado Green Goddess Dressing
Vegetable soup (leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, canned diced tomatoes, frozen corn, dried oregano and basil; s + p, smoked paprika, and boxed vegetable broth diluted with an equal amount of water)
Fried Kasia's potato and cheese pierogies; sour cream; shaved Fontina cheese; crumbled bacon

I unearthed the pierogies from the freezer and defrosted them. I haven't bought these at Costco in quite a while. They come in a three-pack, which is way too many to eat without freezing some, and then they end up lost in the freezer. I saved about a tablespoon of bacon drippings to use for frying the pierogies in lieu of butter. I rarely cook anything in bacon fat any more and miss that sometimes 🤨.

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Monday: Pasta w/tomato, onion & garlic sauce. Salas w/greens from Spring Valley; Alcesti Frappato

Tuesday: Garner produce kabocha squash twice baked, glazed w/sesame oil, soy, spices; local pork loin marinated in soy, sesame oil, crusted with black peppercorn, toasted black cumin. 
Negroni: Amaro di Sirene Don Ciccio, Bombay Sapphire; Cocchi Rosa, Bitter truth lemon bitters, Biterman orange citrate bitters; last of the Frappato.

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Leftover vegetable soup
Spinach fettuccine with cream sauce, Parmesan, and peas

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I riffed on a recipe that has been floating around on Facebook:easy “dumpling” soup. The dumplings are really the frozen mini chicken cilantro wontons from Trader Joe’s. This product is low fat and low sodium, and the dumplings themselves are quite tasty.  
I simmered good quality chicken stock with some chunks of ginger and toes of garlic until the broth was infused, and then removed the big pieces. I added a splash of low sodium soy sauce, some sesame oil, and some hot chili oil. Then I threw in some leftover cabbage, sliced thinly, and when that started to get soft, I added in a bunch of chopped baby bok choy. When the bok choy was almost cooked, I added the dumplings, which take only a minute or two to heat through. I only wish I had cilantro for garnish, but it was still really tasty. 

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I reheated the last half dozen slices of London broil for dinner last night. It's always hard to do that without overcooking. I seem to try a different method every time. I made a very small amount of sauce from Worcestershire and horseradish, which I drizzled over the meat on a heavy piece of foil. Then I wrapped up the packet and stuck it in a the oven (which was on at 350) for 7 minutes. (Not a magic number, just seemed about the right amount of time and it took it to the half hour exactly on the clock.) The meat was nicely warmed through and medium rare, with a little juiciness from the added sauce. Success!

This was served with leftover buttered English peas and scalloped potatoes (the reason the oven was on) and a salad of red leaf lettuce, cucumber, tomato, red bell pepper, feta, pepperoncini, and kalamata olives with avocado green goddess dressing.

The potatoes came about because I wanted to use the last of a bottle of 2% milk I'd bought for something or other and decided to make a bechamel. I only had two medium russets, so I also grabbed a large sweet potato. I parboiled them for 10 minutes, then sliced and assembled the casserole with the bechamel, topped with breadcrumbs and dots of butter. It went in for about 45 minutes covered with foil and then was uncovered for the last 20 or so minutes. The potatoes weren't all even in size and this was not done in a beautiful white and orange pattern, but it came out fantastic. Ironically, I did make a combined potato casserole similar to this from a recipe at some point in the past, with everything carefully layered to be beautiful, and it did not come out as well as this one did.^_^

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Thursday night's dinner:

Red leaf lettuce, cucumber, tomato, red bell pepper, feta, pepperoncini, kalamata olives; vinaigrette
Ginger scone
Chicken thighs ranchero
Spiced roasted acorn squash stuffed with spiced roasted butternut squash

The enormous scone was from Souk. I didn't realize when I bought it that it was glazed, so it was a little sweeter than anticipated, but not really all that sweet. My husband and I both had part of it and there's still plenty left for tomorrow.

The chicken concoction, which used up the last of the ranchero sauce I made last week, was excellent. I sauteed 8 skinless boneless chicken thighs in some olive oil for about 15 minutes total, mixed them with the heated remainder of the sauce, and put in the oven for a fairly short stay to warm everything through. When they came out I laid thin slices of Monterey Jack over top and they melted nicely over the chicken by the time we ate.

The squash two ways was seasoned with warm spices (ginger, cinnamon, paprika, nutmeg, turmeric, black pepper) plus a little salt. I roasted the acorn squash whole and then halved and seeded it and filled each half with a dab of butter and its version of the spices before filling the cavity with spiced roasted butternut.

The chicken and squash didn't particularly go together. I had kind of hoped the spiciness of the sauce would complement the spiced squash, but not so much. Profiles were too different. Both came out great, though. I guess the squash kind of matched with the scone:mellow:

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Argentine Red Shrimp, peeled, head on, shio koji marinated for 1/2 hour. Could have used more marination. Grilled on cast iron raised grill. Served w/Japanese mustard & wasabi mixed with sesame oil, persimmon vinegar, mirin, soy. Excellent. Next time I will grill the shrimp and deep fry the heads. 

Portuguese Sardines grilled on the cast iron grill. I sauteed green onion w/olive oil, spice rub, pepper, salt. This was really good. I don't know if the sardines were fresh or previously frozen. Best part was all the seafood was cheap. $7 for both and we could barely finish it all.

Solace brewing Lucy Juicy DIPA & Suns Out, Hops Out IPA

 

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11 hours ago, deangold said:

Argentine Red Shrimp, peeled, head on, shio koji marinated for 1/2 hour. Could have used more marination. Grilled on cast iron raised grill. Served w/Japanese mustard & wasabi mixed with sesame oil, persimmon vinegar, mirin, soy. Excellent. Next time I will grill the shrimp and deep fry the heads. 

Portuguese Sardines grilled on the cast iron grill. I sauteed green onion w/olive oil, spice rub, pepper, salt. This was really good. I don't know if the sardines were fresh or previously frozen. Best part was all the seafood was cheap. $7 for both and we could barely finish it all.

Solace brewing Lucy Juicy DIPA & Suns Out, Hops Out IPA

Is this  grill pan or something else?  Sounds great

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The shiokoji chicken thigh trial.

A stalk of brussels sprouts had a "cabbage" on top of the stalk. You can cut it off. It has three components: the tiniest brussels sprouts hidden among leaves w/stems, outer leaves that look like the outer leaves of a full size cabbage, and a loose core of what looks like a cabbage and tastes sweeter than a brussels sprout. 

I used this in a stir fry of tokyo bekana and all of the top, with the components cut into various siized to equalize their cooking time. I used olive oil, salt, pepper, spice rub and crushed garlic. This all was cooked in black carbon steel, the top first followed by the bekana. When it was all cooked al dente with a few nicely scorched bits, I put it in a serving bowl and sprinkled with lemon juice. 

Homemade green tea gelato. I followed the recipe from Cuisine art but used 6 egg yolks instead of 5. I must have used half a cup of matcha powder for about 1 quart of gelato mix. From cooking until halfway thru churning, it had a strong 'swampy taste' but when it froze to a soft serve texture, it was perfect. This will be a good way to use up the way too much matcha powder I have. The powder makes great smoothies and gelato, but undrinkable matcha itself.

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Baked chicken breasts
Balsamic rainbow chard and beet greens
Brown rice studded with peas and roasted butternut squash cubes

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I took some assorted greens: red radish, hakurei turnip, and Tokyo bekana, added dulse, and marinated them in shio koji, sesame oil, soy. After a hour or so of marinating, I added some persimmon vinegar. Very light and tasty. The shio koji added a something special without dominating the flavor.

Next were fried potatoes. I cooked some guanciale to render the fat and took out the crispy bits and set aside. I boiled some red new potatoes from Spring Valley until almost knife tender. I cubed them roughly and tossed them in the pan with the guanciale fat with slivered onion, salt, & pepper. I quickly saw I didn't have enough fa and added olive oil in two doses. Next time I will triple the guanciale and use a bit of chicken fat we have on hand. Sauteed them in a black carbon steel pan and let them go for 10 minutes between stirrings. Given out lousy stove, the heat concentrated int he center but I put this to good use letting the very center get crispy and the outside remain soft. This was decadent and wonderful

Last was dashi stock {hon dashi powder}, soy, sesame oil, mirin. I put in shredded brussels sprouts, onion, one king trumpet mushroom, some seafood mushrooms, bamboo shoot and firm tofu. Light, filling and flavorful.

We finished off the 1st of the three pints from our ice cream maker. The machine only get the ie cream to a soft serve consistency and the first batch iced up and got a little hard by the second day. This time, I packed the gelato into pints and doubled the containers so they were insulated a bit and the freezing would be slower. Much better result as we saw tonight. No ice crystals and a very smooth texture. 

Drink: Negroni variation: Lyons White Rum {more hogo than any other local rums I have had and not as much as an agricole,} Luxardo Aperitivo, and Capitoline white vermouth. Mine had Peychauds whiskey barrel bitters, and the Bitter Truth's celery bitters and Angostura orange. Kay's had Bitter Truth lemon and Bitter Truth celery and I added a little whisky barrel bitters after she tried mine. As I say, bitters make the cocktail. The two cocktails were different tasted side by side and both very good. Mine was strained and Kay's on the rocks.

A few shots of Soju

A bit if a Macallan Speyside single malt bottling, 11 year. Macallan from a barrel bottler and not the distillery is a revelation: fruit and elegance lacking in the Macallan distillery 12 year. While there are fine distillery bottlings: Caol Ila, Scapa and Ardbeg come to mind, the big guns are either stupid expensive for over wooded malts or just not that good. 

 

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Salad (red leaf lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper); vinaigrette
Pork Medallions with Cumberland Sauce
Roasted broccoli
Leftover scalloped russet and sweet potatoes

I wasn't sure what to make for dinner out of the choices I had on hand. When I took a walk before starting in on dinner preparation, I stopped to look at some books stuck out by the curb. I thumbed through a fairly well-worn Eating Well cookbook and was interested a cauliflower recipe with garlic sauce I spied. It had just started to sprinkle rain, so it was either take the book or it would get soaked overnight. No good coming back tomorrow and seeing if it was still there.

So, I rescued the book and took it home. Then I decided I didn't want to make the cauliflower recipe after all. I looked further and found a pork tenderloin recipe and made that instead. The Cumberland Sauce on it was quite good.

Now I have yet another cookbook...This one is c1994, which means these "favorite" recipes are from the first iteration of the magazine, which I had a subscription to and enjoyed a lot.

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A lot of snacking all afternoon made distinguishing lunch from dinner hard. Some of what we had

Amazingly sweet red grapefruit

Ramen: Bone broth Korean ramen cup {nongshim}

Last of the greens pickles from yesterday.

Fresh radish

Seylou Pane di Campagne & olive oil

Duck Bolognese Lasagne

Wine: 1984 Optima

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