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Dinner - The Polyphonic Food Blog

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Chicken fajitas!  (You can't see the little chicken fajita dance I am doing, I love chicken fajitas.) With fat free refried beans (which really might be worth the WW points to have the full fat version, but I am trying), greek yogurt, salsa, shrettuce, hot sauce, and reduced fat cheese.  And I had mine on carb balance tortillas.  This is my favorite "diet" meal that doesn't really taste to me like I am really giving things up. 

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Baby arugula, baby spinach, baby beets, toasted walnuts, feta, and soft goat cheese with homemade ranch dressing
Sausages, onions, and peppers
Leftover farro with tomato and broccoli, plus leftover mushroom sauce

The sausages were Trader Joe's chicken, a mix of sun-dried tomato and sweet Italian with bell peppers. I hadn't tried these before, I don't think. I preferred the sun-dried tomato ones, which surprised me. I was planning to buy just the sweet Italian and splurged. After I browned these I added the last of the Rao's garden vegetable sauce diluted with water. (There was maybe only 1/3 cup of it left.) I plated the sausages and sauce partially over the peppers and onions. It got an extra pan dirty, but it came out well doing the components separately. I used three colors of bell peppers in this (yellow, red, and green).

The mushroom sauce I had improvised for the previous night's tofu is really good. I think it was better mixed into the farro than over the tofu and chicken. I've got to figure out what to do with the rest of it.

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Duck cannelloni out of the freezer w/freezer local heirloom tomato sauce & parm.

Sliced koji rice aged steak, cold, sliced thin. Green herb, garlic & yogurt sauce

Left over radish etc green pickles.

Thai banana

Crudite w/sun dried tomato, garlic & lebne pesto.

Drink: rye not so old fashioned: Old overholt, payhaud's whiskey barrel bitters soaked sugar cube, 1/2 slice mandarin, muddled. Really good.

Wine: Alcesti Frappato {fruit bomb styles red from Sicily.

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Dungeness Crab bought live and steamed at home. Aside from listening to the crab say "I've got a wife and 250,000 fertilized eggs back home, the whole process was easy. Steamed it 15 minutes in a large pot {my canning pot using the canning rack to hole the crab out of the water/} Served with with veganaise, the tomalley & lemon juice.

Last of the leftover tri tip, this the shio koji marinated one. Superb cold. Tangy, sweet, meaty.

Beets marinated in sherry wine vinegar w/slivered onion.

Bread

First drink: Corpse Reviver #2 with Dimmi liqueur standing in for Absinthe. Bombay sapphire, cocchi, lemon juice, triplum 1 oz ea Luxardo cherry garnish.Grapefruit & hops bitters from bitterman's

2nd drink was not as good: Brokers Gin, Cocchi, triplum, sweet lime which I thought was going to be like a Rangpur. Instead it was sugar sweet. Had to add 1/2 oz lemon juice and still too sweet. Bitterman's Grapefruit bitters helped a little. Bitter Truth Lemon bitters helped more. No cherry garnish. Weird but I drank it.

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I found out what to do with the rest of the mushroom sauce: I added it at the end after I sauteed a whole lot of baby arugula with garlic and bacon last night. (Added a little chicken broth to the arugula to cook off too.) I hope I remember how I made those mushrooms. They have umami off the charts.

For the rest of the meal, we had fairly thin baked sockeye salmon fillets, sprinkled with a little gochugaru and lemon juice, plus leftover macaroni and cheese. I also heated up the last of the Spicy Southwestern Soup and the last of the cornbread for my husband so he had enough to eat ^_^.

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Very nice Valentine's Day meal with Kay. I got a couple of dabs from H Mart. The pair was about 2-1/2 pounds whole and they cleaned and gutted them. I am familiar with sand dabs from California but these were larger. As it turned out, they had roe as well. Dabs ae a flat fish much like a flounder but smaller. I sprinkled them with salt and pepper and griddled them about 10 minutes. While they were cooking, I made a sauce: sauteed capers & red onion is half and half butter & olive oil. Added white wine and thyme and cooked untilt he raw wine taste disappeared. Then mounted with a bit of butter to leave it emilsified but runny. I had meant to use lime juice as well so we just poured the lime juice over the butter sauce covered fish. They wound up needing salt at the table. The flesh is soft, close to but short of mushy. It was moist and delicate in flavor, but rich from the butter.  The roe sacks were prefect, a little done on the outside where they were near the griddle and soft and just warmed in the center. The roe was a super bonus and I am fairly sure the roe season is pretty short. 

Our veggie was brussels sprouts steamed and then pan fried, seasoned with spice rub, salt and pepper. 

We finished up with a decadent pistachio cookie from a bakery downtown, Nino's is the name, I think. 

Drinks:

Kay had a spin on a Corpse Reviver: citrus & blackberry infused gin, Cocchi Americano, Triplum, lime juice served in a glass with a Suze rinse {replacing the absinthe.} I started with a Gin Gimlet: 2 oz Bombay Sapphire and 3/4 oz Andrew's lime cordial, stirred served up.

With dinner we enjoyed the rest of our bottle of kikusui sake.

After dinner, and after cookie, we shared a Sazerac made with Old Overholt. I chilled the glass and gave it a Suze rinse. I then muddled a sugar cube with 4 dashes of Peychaud's aromatic bitters and 3 of Peychaud's Whiskey Barrel Bitters. Added 3 oz old Overholt. The sazerac is fast becoming my favorite warming cocktail. I am going to invest in a bottle of HerbSaint for both my Sazeracs and Corpse Revivers. 

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Our Valentine's meal started with a marinated cauiflower and pepper salad (strips of roasted red and minced raw Fresno, plus a few quartered kalamata olives). Then we split a reverse-seared boneless NY strip steak, on the cusp of rare/medium rare, served with a creamy linguine with Parmesan, peas, mint, lemon, and mascarpone. I more or less followed this recipe. The mint was  my addition. 'Twas an excellent meal.

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Last night's dinner began a couple of gin-based cocktails inspired by a bottle of Ford's Gin that I managed to find. Classic Negroni for me, with the gin, Campari, and Carpano Antica Formula, and a Bee's Knees for Mrs. Reedm. Quite delicious.

I prepared Steak Diane using Mark Bittman's NY Times recipe as a starting point. Very easy and tasty. As a side, I roasted some radishes with olive oil and a few seasonings. 

The 2016 Chateau La Grange Clinet Reserve was a fine match for the meal.

I also attempted to make some chocolate covered strawberries, but the monk fruit sweetener used at the request of my keto diet wife (ugh) didn't set very well.

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5 hours ago, reedm said:

Ford's Gin

Outstanding gin that. I just picked up a bottle of Plymouth at 15% off so special ordering a Ford's will have to wait.

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We have a whole local pork loin cut up in the freezer. The pork comes from a siingle farm in Greencastle MD and is a duroc/Berkshire cross. We got 6 bone in chops, 6 boneless steaks and a couple of roasts. Earlier, I took out the sirloin roast. After it thawed, I boned out the hip bone and there were feather bones from the loin end too. Next I cut it in half horizontally to make one of the pieces flat. Next I rubbed all the meat with a lot of garlic, sage, rosemary, salt, black pepper, Aleppo pepper, & olive oil. I put the meat in a bag to marinate in the fridge for 4 days. Today, I took out the meat and laid the smaller piece on top of the flat piece and tied it into an even roast. I put a probe thermometer in it and set it on the counter. When I was finished tying the roast, it read 48 degrees. two hours later is read 53 degrees confirming that leaving meat out to warm up isn't effective. I put the roast in the oven at 220 degrees and left it until it reached 160. I removed it and let is rest for 30 minutes or so and then put it in a 500 degree oven bottom up for 4 or 5 minutes, then flipped it for 3 so it was nicely browned all over. Then I deglazed the fond in the roasting pan with white wine while I cooked off some capers in olive oi in a separate skillet. When the roasting pan was fully deglazed I strained the juices into the capers. Then I reduced that and added a little home made fermented grainy mustard, sesame oil and Iwashi fish sauce. I spooned this over the sliced meat. 

To accompany, I blanched kalettes which are the tips of a kale plant much like the brussels srout top has a loose head at the top. We iced them, sauteed garlic and tossed in the kalettes. A little lime juice, salt, pepper & spice rub finished it.

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Wine: 1984 Caymus Cabernet from back in the day when Caymus made traditional style cabs: not too ripe, aged in american oak after some time in large tank. This is basically the style pioneered by Louis Martini. Now days, Caymus is made with lots of relatively new French Oak and tasted like most other Napa cabs. This was funky and quite ripe from the 84 vintage, not from late picking. the flavors and mouth impressions were of a fine old cab, pretty fully mature. The nose has  touch of hot vintage funk you get in 45 year old cabs from hot vintages. We have had about a dozen California cabs from the 1980's now and they have all been in fine condition age wise and the vintage variations are quite apparent and drive the wines. So the canard that Cali cabs of the 80s don't age because of their old school wine making is a bucket of duck spit. 

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After dinner: DC Sazerac: We ahve a couple of bottles of Burrough Bourbon from Republic Restoratives. It is not a great sipping bourbon but it makes for nice cocktails. Given that it is a high rye mashbill bourbon, I decided to try it in a Sazerac. Kay and I has slight variations on each other's drink

Kay's: 2 oz bourbon, Suze rinse, sugar cube, peychauds aromatic bitters {4 or so dashes,} 2 dashes Peychaud's whiskey barrel bitters and a 1" dropper full of Bitterman's Orange Cream Citrate bitters.  

Mine: 2 oz bourbon, Dimmi rinse, sugar cube, 6 dashes Peychaud's aromatic bitters, 2 droppers 1" full of the Bitterman's orange citrate bitters, a healthy dosing of The Bitter Truth peach bitters. The doser on The Bitter Truth is stingy, making giving amounts used difficult. 

Comparison: Kay's was a little harsher, mine more aromatic with the peach adding an undertone and not a distinctve peach flavor. 

Notes: On the bitters: the Peychaud's bitters were added first to the sugar cube and muddled. Then upon tasting the drink, I add more bitters depending on what I think it needs. The orange citrate bitters add smoothness to a cocktail made with brown spirits so they went in to fight the harshness. When I made mine and doubled the orange citrate, the nose became washed out but the drink was far smoother. SO I tried my new Peach Bitters to see where it would go. I added about 6 shakes, tasted, then added about 6 more. As I say in my signature box: Bitters make the cocktail. We now have 15 different bitters for loads of experimentation. 

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Iceberg lettuce salad with sliced baby beets, cucumber and radishes, topped with sliced leftover strip steak and a couple of pepperoncini; vinaigrette (and blue cheese dressing for me)
Chilaquile casserole
Steamed broccoli

The chilaquile casserole is an old Mollie Katzen recipe I've been making for going on 25 years (!). I hadn't made it in quite some time and realized I had all the ingredients. The basic procedure: Saute a chopped up onion and a minced garlic clove for a few minutes and set aside. Cover the bottom of a greased casserole dish with 6 torn apart corn tortillas (about 1 inch pieces) and layer on top 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese, a small can of chopped green chilies, the onion and garlic, and then repeat the layers of tortillas/cheese/chilies (same amounts). Whisk together 4 large eggs, 2 cups buttermilk (I use whole fat but she doesn't specify), salt, pepper, cumin, and dried oregano. The recipe only calls for very tiny amounts of the last two. I always use more, just what looks right. That's probably 1/2 tsp. or so of cumin and 1 Tbsp. oregano. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes, until it's set and and browned on the top.

 

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Whole wheat naan
Pork cutlets
Cauliflower in cheese sauce
Buttered peas

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After a lot of snacking today, dinner was very simple.

I made a soup with lacinato kale and leeks from last week's farmer's market using water & half and half that we had around the house. Then I pureed it in the Blendtec. I seasoned it with Japanese soy, Double Golden Fish brand Sriracha, salt, pepper, a ton of black pepper, a little spice rub {the one we uesed all the time at the Grotto, and a warm spice mix {cinnamon, allspice, black  cumin, cloves, Aleppo.}

No cocktails tonight. But a shot of Burroughs Bourbon is coming soon. 

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Waldorf salad on a bed of red leaf lettuce
Sweet Italian and sun-dried tomato chicken sausages
Buttered (Canadian) organic wild rice
Steamed and pan-grilled brussels sprouts dressed with Gochujang and toasted sesame oil

The Asian seasoning for the sprouts was to make them more appealing to my husband, and it was a good variation from my usual preparations. I used Dean's idea (thanks, Dean!) of steaming them before finishing them on the stovetop. I steamed the sprouts for a few minutes in the microwave, cooled a bit, then halved them and put cut-side down on a scorching hot cast iron grill pan until they got some grill marks and crispy edges.

The Canadian wild rice also came from North Bay Trading Co. It's longer and chewier than American (well, Minnesota, I guess) wild rice..and even more expensive! It was wonderful, though, dressed with just butter, salt, and pepper.

And, Waldorf salad is one of my childhood favorites. My grandmother used to make it for me when I was little, just walnuts, celery, raisins, apples, and Hellman's mayo. I can't remember if she (or my mom, when she made it) used lemon juice, but I add a little, at least to keep the apples from browning once they've been chopped. My husband doesn't like mayonnaise very much, so I don't make this often, but it always makes me happy when I do.

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A Korean soup from a frozen pack. Potato, zucchini, rice cake and we added tofu, mushrooms and shishito. Very thick broth. 

Drink: Draft Makkoli, Old Overholt rye

Ginger gelato.

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Salad of iceberg and red leaf lettuces, radishes, luna sweet tomatoes, cucumber; white balsamic vinaigrette
Leftover creamy linguine alfredo with (extra) peas and lemon
Asparagus topped with fried eggs; bacon on the side

The runny egg yolk was wonderful on the asparagus and it moseyed on over into some of the pasta too.

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Whole wheat naan and butter
Turkey meatloaf
Leftover cauliflower in cheese sauce
Leftover wild rice

 

 

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Left over Korean potato, rice cake, zucchini soup

Shenandoah Skirt Steak grilled on Yaki Nikku grill w/wasabi mustard, ponzu and sasame oil w/salt dip. Skirt steak marinated in barrel aged fish sauce.

Shishito peppers

Ginger Ice Cream

Drinks:

Kay: Negroni w/luxardo bitter, capitoline dry & Bombay sapphire, 2 dropper fulls of Bitterman's hopped grapefruit bitters.

Me: Plymouth Martini 2z gin, 1.5z dolin 1 dropper grapefruit hops bitters, Bitter Truth lemon bitters. Thais left the drink pretty diffuse and dull but the addition of a little bit of Peychaud's aromatic bitters balanced it. The Plymouth/Dolin combo is superb, the bitters were not well chosen. 

The rest of the Caymus 1984 cabernet from the other night. Despite the cork splitting when we opened it, the seal from the coravin was tight as we could hear the slight noise from the release of the argon pressure in the wine. Big, thick, a little chewy. Went great with the steak which was a touch surprising as the steak was aggressively flavored and the wine 35 years old. 

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Camembert; blue cheese; rosemary crackers; stone wheat crackers; warmed whole wheat naan; assorted nuts
Potato and beet salad
Leftover turkey meatloaf and gravy
Leftover cauliflower in cheese sauce
Steamed spinach

I crumbled blue cheese from the cheese plate onto my salad. The salad itself was quite good and that made it even better.

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Sourdough bread and butter
Creamy chicken, wild rice, and lima bean soup
Leftover potato and beet salad

The limas were (very old) Christmas limas from Rancho Gordo. I haven't been cooking many dried beans and, for the ones I have made, I haven't dug into my stock of heirloom beans. I finally used the remaining about 3/4 of a bag of the gorgeous Christmas limas I'd opened who knows when. I soaked overnight (12 hours) and cooked them seemingly forever -- about 8 hours in total -- and they finally softened just at the right time to finish for the last bit of time in the soup. (I only used about half of what I'd cooked in the soup. The rest will be a side dish of some kind soon. The only seasonings I used in cooking were dehydrated onions and bay leaf.)

The soup was excellent, loosely modeled on this recipe. The wild rice was what was leftover of the Canadian batch I'd cooked early in the week.

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Salad w/balsamico, sherry vinegar & olive oil

Conch, blanched 2 minutes and iced, sliced thin, and marinated in lime juice & green onion, then drained and drizzled w/olive oil. Next time I need to drain the conch and let it sit in the strainer longer, and then sit under the olve oil longer to balance the sour of the lime and the sweetness of the conch. I will also try a splash of shio koji. 

Scallops pan seared w/Korean green onion, What was fascinating was that I got all but one scallop that were dry packed and one wet packed {treated to absorb water.} The dry scallops seared and colored up like a dream. The wet scallop was soft to the touch, stuck to the carbon steel pan and did not brown. It was creamy in texture but very bland.

Ginger ice cream {in making this batch I incorporated a lot of air beating the yolks and it shows in the texture. 

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Mancini Bucatini w/heirloom tomato sauce, sauteed Korean green onion & leek, shimeji mushrooms, lots of parm

Korean Cucumber with Ume paste

Ginger Ice Cream

Drink: Gibson Hendricks Gin 2z, Dolin 1.5z, Peychaud bitters, Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters. Cocktail onions.

Sazerac: Bourough high rye bourbon, Chartreuse green rinse, Peychaud's bitters, Peychauds whiskey barrel bitters

I forgot to add: Judd's Hill Estate Reserve Cuvee {Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab Franc}

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Six of us worked together to create a Mardi Gras feast last night:

Gumbo, roast beef Po boys, eggplant casserole with shrimp and sausage, collard greens cooked with fatback, cornbread, king cake, and bananas foster. Oh, and daiquiris made with fresh strawberries. Also some Abita Purple Haze beer. 
 

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