What did you cook today?

Share your culinary creations, recipes, food knowledge, restaurant recommendations, etc.
Chappychap
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Chappychap »

Mike9 wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:54 am I had 6 chicken thighs to use up so I though about Gumbo, but that morphed into chicken meat balls. Then I thought Gumbo Meatballs, but ended up with Gumbo Meatloaf.
That looks really delicious Mike. I've never tried home cooked meatloaf, and your post makes me think I need to change that!
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Re: What did you cook today?

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ronnie_suburban wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:02 pm
gladius wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:57 am Stir fry today! A new wok arrived yesterday and my wife requested stir fry with pork pot stickers.
Wow, that was fast! The stirfrys look great.
---
Thanks.
Indeed was fast! I was going to order the wok I referenced in the "Wok Suggestions" thread from The Wok Shop but reconsidered. I have ordered from them before and each time delivery was slow (even within California). I instead ordered the MammaFong 14" flat bottom hand-hammered: they have a Los Angeles warehouse and delivered FedEx next day.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Mike9 »

Chappychap wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 4:02 pm
Mike9 wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:54 am I had 6 chicken thighs to use up so I though about Gumbo, but that morphed into chicken meat balls. Then I thought Gumbo Meatballs, but ended up with Gumbo Meatloaf.
That looks really delicious Mike. I've never tried home cooked meatloaf, and your post makes me think I need to change that!
It's a fairly easy dish, but making it delicious depends on creativity and palate. I'm lucky that I can see/taste flavors in my mind and can pretty much determine the outcome, but there is always the element of surprise and this was surprisingly delicious. I encourage you do try the basic recipe I've co-oped is from Tyler Florence and it's called "Dad's meatloaf". I've been riffing on this recipe for years now and this one is like wow you'd never know it was chicken.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

All aboard the Leftovers Express tonight . . . part of a ny strip, a few lamb chops (gussied up with some homemade five spice powder), some hot & sour soup and a salad with a quick, improvised sesame vinaigrette. Ez-breezy. Back to full-on cooking tomorrow. :)
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Jeff B »

Mike9 wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:54 am I had 6 chicken thighs to use up so I though about Gumbo, but that morphed into chicken meat balls. Then I thought Gumbo Meatballs, but ended up with Gumbo Meatloaf. I thawed out a half pound of andouille and skinned and boned the thighs. I had cooked bacon the night before, but saved the pan for something and here is it. I diced onion, celery and garlic then wiped out all oil from the pan and sweated my sofrito so as to dissolve and absorb the bacon fond which it did. I blitzed the meats in the food proc then soaked some torn peasant bread in water seasoned with a garlic/pepper blend and dried parsley. Since I'm out of fresh bell peppers I added roasted red peppers to the final mix. Meat(s), sofrito, egg, red peppers and lightly squeezed bread into the bowl, seasoned with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, ground sage, fillet powder and a dash of worcestershire then mix really well. I had to add some seasoned panko as it was loose. I formed it on parchment on a sheet pan then brushed some kicked up ketchup and covered with bacon. Baked at 350 for @1.5hrs. This is some of the best tasting meatloaf I've made in a long time. I can't wait to make sandwiches out of it either.
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What goes better with meatloaf than a "cowboy hashbrown"? Simply pealed golds, grated, soaked and squeezed then salt & pepper and into a hot, oiled skillet turned once.
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Love your style Mike!
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Mike9 »

Thank you @Jeff B - It all started with my grandmothers - one was Quebecois the other Ukrainian. I used to hang on their aprons in the kitchen when they were cooking. I've been cooking for others since Boy Scouts, but it really started back in the 60's with Graham Kerr the "Galloping Gourmet" on TV. Then came Justin Wilson the "Cajun Chef", then Julia Child then Jacques Pepin, Martin Yan and so on. I turned 68 last Sunday so I've been at this a long time both home and pro, but after some time in the food service thing I walked away (for my sanity) and never looked back. That move gave me the opportunity to expand my thinking about food. As Jiro says - "in order to make delicious food you must eat delicious food". Take that to heart and be well my friends.
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Re: What did you cook today?

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Mike9 wrote: Sat Jan 30, 2021 10:29 pm I turned 68 last Sunday so I've been at this a long time both home and pro, but after some time in the food service thing I walked away (for my sanity) and never looked back. That move gave me the opportunity to expand my thinking about food. As Jiro says - "in order to make delicious food you must eat delicious food". Take that to heart and be well my friends.
Happy belated birthday! And words of wisdom right there.

Easy lunch with a new ingredient I'm trying after seeing it recommended on Just One Cookbook, Kayanoya instant dashi. Supposed to be better than many and a viable alternative when time and/or energy is short.

Based on the recipe book that came with it, the process is to tear open the tea bag then mix the powder into the egg. Then fry with the rice as standard. I also added some roast chicken I had to get RID of. So I guess it turned out kinda like a dry version of Oyakodon. Overall the dashi was pretty good, though testing with miso is next.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Chappychap wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 3:57 pm Easy lunch with a new ingredient I'm trying after seeing it recommended on Just One Cookbook, Kayanoya instant dashi. Supposed to be better than many and a viable alternative when time and/or energy is short.

Based on the recipe book that came with it, the process is to tear open the tea bag then mix the powder into the egg. Then fry with the rice as standard. I also added some roast chicken I had to get RID of. So I guess it turned out kinda like a dry version of Oyakodon. Overall the dashi was pretty good, though testing with miso is next.
It looks delicious, as usual. I'll be curious when you form an opinion of the Kayanoya. Other than making my own, I've only ever used Hondashi and it was fine but not as good as what I made from scratch. I think testing it with miso will be a really good way to make an assessment.

After three days of barely cooking (other than pickling and baking some cookies), I was ready to get back at it today and decided to keep it simple . . .

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Pre-Prep & Anryu Shirogami #2 Kurouchi Damascus Santoku, 165mm
Spinach-Feta casserole has become a favorite around here so, by request, I rolled it out again. Ironically, it starts with onions, garlic and cremini mushrooms. I'm not usually a santoku fan but when these recently became available, I had to grab one. Not only do I love the easy way it cuts but the fit and finish are top-notch, and there's enough clearance that my knuckles do not hit the board. A patina started to form very quickly, even as I was working my way through this single onion.

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Mise En Place & Anryu Shirogami #2 Kurouchi Damascus Santoku, 165mm
Used a new-to-me feta this time and some leftover labneh from a carry-out order earlier in the week. That smaller blob of onions was leftover from last week but it was time to get RID of it. Was also able to synchronize this with having some fresh dill on hand. As usual, onions were sauteed in evoo, and the mushrooms were sauteed in evoo, garlic, red wine and some homemade demiglace.

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Scored & Trussed
Wasn't sure how to handle this. Top had only a thin layer of fat but it was covered by some silver skin. Didn't want to leave it completely bare by removing all of it, so I scored and trussed the roast.

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Roasted
My prep/roasting method worked out okay (was moist and fairly tender) but next time, I'd remove the silver skin and the fat, and wrap the roast in bacon.

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Plated Up
With spinach-feta casserole and some pan drippings gravy. There was also a salad that was virtually identical to salads of the recent past. :wink:
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Brief follow-up on last week's sour daikon pickles . . .

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Before & After
At the time they were jarred on the left. 72 hours later on the right. The color is beautiful.

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Plated Up

Glad I did this and glad I'll now have them on hand. They're pretty much exactly what I expected they'd be. Fairly one-dimensional flavor-wise, with a very noticeable funky radish aroma. I had more fun making them and shooting them than I did eating them. But they're very specific so hopefully, before too long, I'll cook something that will be a perfect pairing for them.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Chappychap »

ronnie_suburban wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 8:17 pm and some homemade demiglace.
Both of those look fantastic Ronnie! And kudos on the home-made demiglace. That must have been quite the undertaking. The daikon looks beautiful and I'm looking forward to seeing what you pair it with.

Mrs. Chappy is cooking bolognese tonight so I snuck in cooking at lunch. I wanted to get RID of some carrot greens, and as it's never cooked them before, was interested to learn that they are often used similarly to spinach or parsley. Not wanting to do my usual European take on that type of green preparation, I dived into Fuschia Dumlop's 'Every Grain of Rice' for something I could adapt with the Yu Kurosake Raijin 240.

The result was carrot greens cooked with garlic, ginger, chili flakes, served with soy sauce.
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What went well?
* Zero waste desire led to creativity, going in a different direction to usual European styles.
* This formula (garlic/ginger/chilli/chilli oil + salt or soy sauce garnish is a great one for getting RID of greens.
* Diluting soy sauce in hot water enable me to use it as a functional garnish, without being overpowering. A splash of pure soy sauce at the end added variety in colour and taste.
* Cooking greens first, separately to aromatics then combining at the end allowed more flexibility on cooking until doneness.
* Chilli oil on top added colour and flavor.
* Bugs Bunny would approve.

What better next time?
* Pushed zero waste too far in this dish at least. Stems were tough. Leaves delicious though. Consider cooking or preparing stems in a way which overcome their toughness without overcooking the leaves, or just discard.

Bonus tip for anyone constantly fighting with Ohsawa's massive bottle mouth leading to overpouring: put an oil dispenser in the top!
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Jeff B »

Awesome Chappy!
If God wanted me to be a vegetarian he wouldn't have made animals taste so good.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Jeff B wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:48 pm Awesome Chappy!
Agreed! I haven't had carrots with greens in that kind of usable condition in a long time. I'm envious and I really admire your resourcefulness.

I probably should have steered clear of a particular discussion at another site about uses for eye of round because I got vortex'd and took it as a challenge. I ended up with what is arguably the worst cut of beef from what I consider to be the worst store in town. But all's well that ends well and I learned a lot while fashioning eye of round into chicken fried steak . . .

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Pounded
I sliced my roast into four ~half-pound pieces and pounded them as thin as I could. Looking back, I probably should have sliced it thinner because even aggressive pounding could only take it so far.

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Jaccard
I can't believe I own one of these but I do. This is probably the second time I've used it but I have to say, it did come in handy.

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Poked
After pounding, I pin-cushioned the meat into submission. :D

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Three-Step Breading Station
Gave it the old dry-wet-dry treatment. That's heavily seasoned flour in the bag (I find it easiest/tidiest/most efficient to just shake the meat in the bag). Next up was the egg wash, followed by encrusting in seasoned panko.

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Breaded
Breaded, drying on the rack and awaiting their fry.

It wouldn't be chicken fried steak without cream gravy, so I decided to get RID of some stuff and whip one up . . .

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Gravy Mise En Place & Anryu Kurouchi Damascus Petty, 75mm
Shallots, butter, milk, homemade chicken stock, homemade demiglace and seasoned dredge flour. That is, by far, my cutest kitchen knife. :)

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Plated Up
Chicken fried steak (aka salvaged eye of round) with cream gravy, leftover spinach-feta casserole and homemade coleslaw, topped with homemade pickled radish.

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Interior Shot
As I mentioned up top, all's well that ends well. Not overcooked, juicy, reasonably tender and flavorful enough.

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

Post by Chappychap »

Looks like you made the most of that cut! Love the Anryu too. Pretty sure one day I'll have a moment of weakness and get a small petty like that. They look really fun. I also couldn't agree more on the flour in bag trick also. That's a useful little trick I figured out on my last round of deep frying battered chicken for stir fry, and it made things SOOOOOOOO much easier.

Tonight I had the opportunity to cook dinner as well as lunch, because my other half decided she was too tired to cook the Bolognese. I haven’t cooked Bolognese for a while so I looked around to my cookbooks and YouTube to see what peaked my interest. I used to cook it many years ago when I was a student. I was reminded tonight that it is a relatively simple dish that really comes down to concentrated tomatoes, meat, stock and wine. I made it with Impossible meat given vegetarian half of the house, and then ended up adding umami ingredients that could make up for the pancetta umami deficit with mushroom powder, sun-dried tomato and Lea and Perrin's Worcestershire sauce. I'm also a convert to adding milk at the end for the texture and added depth.

It was a great opportunity to use the Shibata Kotetsu R2 for the moirpoix. I haven’t used this knife in a while, and tonight really reminded me why I got hooked on Japanese knives in the first place. It goes through carrots and onions like nothing else in my collection. A challenges me to use great technique, but that technique in town produce better results. Every time I use it all of my other knives fade into the background, at least for that prep session.

What went well?
* Impossible meat works really well as a compromise for meat versus non-meat in my house.
* I'm not able to use pancetta, and I’m not aware of a great vegetarian substitute for that, so I used some umami rich ingredients to make up for it. Mushroom powder to add some extra umami to the dish seem to work well without turning it overly mushroomy. Sundried tomatoes and extra tomato paste helped too.
* I'm a convert to adding milk at the end. Adds so much to texture and depth.
* The finishing oil and parmesan were great too.

What could I do better next time?
* I need to start stocking celery. Although I just rolled with the aromatics without it, I should start having it I need to expel angry and more so it is worthwhile too.
* More wine! Ran out. Clearly a signal to have 'emergency wine' more reliably stocked.
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Last edited by Chappychap on Tue Feb 02, 2021 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Chappychap wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:39 pm Looks like you made the most of that cut! Love the Anryu too. Pretty sure one day I'll have a moment of weakness and get a small petty like that. They look really fun. I also couldn't agree more on the flour in bag trick also. That's a useful little trick I figured out on my last round of deep frying battered chicken for stir fry, and it made things SOOOOOOOO much easier.
Shake & Bake (or fry, as it were), baby! :D
Chappychap wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:39 pm Tonight I had the opportunity to cook dinner as well as lunch, because my other half decided she was too tired to cook the Bolognese. I haven’t cooked Bolognese for a while so I looked around to my cookbooks and YouTube to see what peaked my interest. I used to cook it many years ago when I was a student. I was reminded tonight that it is a relatively simple dish that really comes down to concentrated tomatoes, meat, stock and wine. I made it with Impossible meat given vegetarian half of the house, and then ended up adding umami ingredients that could make up for the pancetta umami deficit with mushroom powder, sun-dried tomato and Lea and Perrin's Worcestershire sauce. I'm also a convert to adding milk at the end for the texture and added depth.

It was a great opportunity to use the Shibata Kotetsu R2 for the moirpoix. I haven’t used this knife in a while, and tonight really reminded me why I got hooked on Japanese knives in the first place. It goes through carrots and onions like nothing else in my collection. A challenges me to use great technique, but that technique in town produce better results. Every time I use it all of my other knives fade into the background, at least for that prep session.

What went well?
* Impossible meat works really well as a compromise for meat versus non-meat in my house.
* I'm not able to use pancetta, and I’m not aware of a great vegetarian substitute for that, so I used some umami rich ingredients to make up for it. Mushroom powder to add some extra umami to the dish seem to work well without turning it overly mushroomy. Sundried tomatoes and extra tomato paste helped too.
* I'm a convert to adding milk at the end. Adds so much to texture and depth.
* The finishing oil and parmesan were great too.

What could I do better next time?
* I need to start stocking celery. Although I just rolled with the aromatics without it, I should start having it I need to expel angry and more so it is worthwhile too.
* More wine! Ran out. Clearly a signal to have 'emergency wine' more reliably stocked.
This post is really helpful. Your Bolognese looks great, and it sounds like it was delicious. I've had Beyond and Impossible in burger form but never any other. I'm going to give it a shot soon. I imagine it's a nice advantage being able to use the Lea & Perrins. I work with a very sensitive vegetarian who would never allow that, though he does look the other way in some very curious situations.

Have you tried using celeriac? It's a bit more intense than celery stalks/leaves but a little goes a long way and being rooty, it's got a very nice, long shelf life. Not sure it would work in something like a Bolognese but it's great in braises, soup, stews or other application where long cooking and/or infusion are in play.

As for wine, if you have a nearby restaurant whose wines you like, you may want to see if they'll sell you some bottles on package basis. They'll likely be reasonably priced and something you may not be able to get at retail . . . plus you'll be helping support them in the process.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Jeff B »

Nice lesson Ronnie on how to make Lemonade when you accidently buy lemons. ;)
And don't worry about the Jaccard, I think most of us have something hidden in our kitchen that we wouldn't care to advertise... :P
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Re: What did you cook today?

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ronnie_suburban wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:38 am This post is really helpful. Your Bolognese looks great, and it sounds like it was delicious. I've had Beyond and Impossible in burger form but never any other. I'm going to give it a shot soon. I imagine it's a nice advantage being able to use the Lea & Perrins. I work with a very sensitive vegetarian who would never allow that, though he does look the other way in some very curious situations.

Have you tried using celeriac? It's a bit more intense than celery stalks/leaves but a little goes a long way and being rooty, it's got a very nice, long shelf life. Not sure it would work in something like a Bolognese but it's great in braises, soup, stews or other application where long cooking and/or infusion are in play.

As for wine, if you have a nearby restaurant whose wines you like, you may want to see if they'll sell you some bottles on package basis. They'll likely be reasonably priced and something you may not be able to get at retail . . . plus you'll be helping support them in the process.
Glad there was something helpful in it for you. Just the process of organizing my thoughts is helpful to me in making sure I'm actually learning on week on week, and it's more fun if it's in a place with other like minds vs. in a notepad.

I haven't tried celeriac. For the longest time I thought celery and anything related was on my list of 'Never eat even if starving on a desert island', but as I've got into cooking I'm gaining an appreciation of how ingredients like this are a component that if used properly, don't overtake the overall flavour and actually add to it.

That's a good idea on wine. I've heard of similar things with buying flour, helping bakeries to shift excess product accumulated due to COVID.

I think the biggest learning for me last night was a more meta-point on meat substitutes. Think about what the ingredient 'provides', breaking it down. Chew? Umami? Salt? Then substitute with things - or a variety of things - that provide those attributes.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Chappychap wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:46 pm I think the biggest learning for me last night was a more meta-point on meat substitutes. Think about what the ingredient 'provides', breaking it down. Chew? Umami? Salt? Then substitute with things - or a variety of things - that provide those attributes.
I've been doing virtually all of my grocery shopping virtually. My favorite local grocery, from whom I can order directly online and then get curbside pick-up, only offers Beyond, so I carted a pound for my next order. What took me by surprise was that it goes for $10/pound, which is significantly more than even Step 4 ground beef at Whole Foods. I was not expecting that. Worried that I might be getting jacked, I checked another local grocery (and WF) and they both also charge $10/pound for it, so I guess that's the going rate. Kind of reminds me of the old Bourdain line that vegetarianism is a luxury of the affluent. :) In any case, I'm really looking forward to checking it out. We eat a lot of meat around here, not only because we enjoy it but also because it's become habit. I'm always happy explore alternatives.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by Chappychap »

ronnie_suburban wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:25 pm
Chappychap wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:46 pm I think the biggest learning for me last night was a more meta-point on meat substitutes. Think about what the ingredient 'provides', breaking it down. Chew? Umami? Salt? Then substitute with things - or a variety of things - that provide those attributes.
I've been doing virtually all of my grocery shopping virtually. My favorite local grocery, from whom I can order directly online and then get curbside pick-up, only offers Beyond, so I carted a pound for my next order. What took me by surprise was that it goes for $10/pound, which is significantly more than even Step 4 ground beef at Whole Foods. I was not expecting that. Worried that I might be getting jacked, I checked another local grocery (and WF) and they both also charge $10/pound for it, so I guess that's the going rate. Kind of reminds me of the old Bourdain line that vegetarianism is a luxury of the affluent. :) In any case, I'm really looking forward to checking it out. We eat a lot of meat around here, not only because we enjoy it but also because it's become habit. I'm always happy explore alternatives.
Yeah, the topic an interesting one to me too. I used to think of vegetarian options being more likely to be cheaper and healthier. Or at least one of those things. The reality is that Beyond/Impossible/etc arguably isn't either of those things, except MAYBE being less likely to contribute to cancer risk vs. high red meat diets. But then whilst it is not red meat, it is clearly very processed, and processed meat is also linked to higher cancer risk levels. SO maybe it's a case of robbing from Peter to pay Paul, so to speak. Who knows. For me the main selling point at this stage is that it allows me to cook a greater variety of things that both my wife and I can enjoy eating. I really struggle with 100% vegetarian meals no matter how hard I try, both in terms of feeling satisfied and in finding sufficient inspiration and excitement to cook vegetarian dishes. It's much easier to be motivated for a 'meat' dish, even if I know in the back of my mind it's not meat. For example, next on the list is meatballs with this stuff - an otherwise out of bounds dish to cook and enjoy with my wife, which is a shame because I quite wanted to try my hand at it and see if she likes it. This helps me cook for the most important person in my life, which has got to be half the joy of cooking, right?

One thing that may help: Costco have started stocking this, which usually brings price down. I don't have the prices to hand, but that was the tipping point for me deciding it may be worth it.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Chappychap wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:42 pm This helps me cook for the most important person in my life, which has got to be half the joy of cooking, right?
Absolutely, if not more. Keeping my family well-fed/happy/surprised has been a primary motivator over these past 7,000+ months of 'rona time. :D But in all seriousness, it's awesome that products like these help expand the common ground between your preferences and your wife's. That's worth a lot. And, like you, these days I'm especially happy to have a new culinary challenge to tackle. I don't always succeed but it keeps me on my toes. Any form of problem solving helps keep me engaged.
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Re: What did you cook today?

Post by ronnie_suburban »

With temps in the low 30's and set to seriously plunge later in the week, I figured it was the right time to dig myself a path . . .

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Snowy Path
It really was nice out. I didn't even wear a jacket. But right after I finished shoveling, a package showed up from Import Food and I couldn't wait to break it out. So, instead of grilling, I decided on Thai-style red curry with shrimp. Grilling will just have to wait.

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Mise En Place & Shibata Kashima R-2 Gyuto 210mm
Zucchini, cremini mushrooms, extra firm tofu, bamboo shoots, Mae Pranom red curry paste, Thai bird chiles, fish sauce, jasmine rice, kaffir lime leaves, gapi, coconut milk, shrimp, basil leaves and partially frozen homemade pork stock.

More than anything else, I was excited about the new-crop rice that showed up. It was tender, fragrant and delicious. I liked the Mae Pranom curry paste and had never used it before. I don't think it surpassed the beloved Maesri but it was no slouch. It was a bit saltier, a bit fishier and a bit hotter. But it was missing some richness and roundness. Also, that particular brand of coconut milk was recently implicated in a forced monkey labor scandal and I'm not down with that. But I bought a few cans months ago and I just want to work through it. Fwiw, I didn't like it quite as much as the Aroy D in aseptic boxes. It tasted sweeter, which made me happy that I entirely omitted palm sugar this time around.

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Plated Up
Thai-style red curry over jasmine rice. Even though I added it very late, my extra firm tofu behaved atypically and started to crumble almost immediately. Not sure what that was about but it tasted delicious, regardless.
=R=
Half of cooking is thinking about cooking.
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