What's For Dinner?

Cooking at home and sourcing ingredients
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Tim H
Posts: 281
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Location: Gilbert, AZ

6 years ago

Grrlscout, the texture of those tamales looks perfect! Something I struggle with (I hate cakey tamales).

Celtic Bella, my "recipe" is pretty simple. For the stock, just reserve the breast meat of a roast chicken, then simmer the carcass and some veg for a couple hours. Costco roast chicken makes very good stock for very little work.

For the noodles, I use 2 cups flour, 2 eggs, and enough milk to form the pasta, maybe 1/3 to 1/2 a cup. Kneed and rest, roll out, and cut noodles with a pizza cutter. My grandma used milk, so it's what I do, probably not necessary. Seems to make the noodles tender.

Then sautee the veg you want (for me, two onions, three carrots, and four celery stalks) until soft, add stock and pulled chicken breast meat (plus any dark meat you care to harvest). I cook the noodles separately and add them at the very end. The noodles will soften over time, but they hold up (and taste) a lot better than Mrs. Reames.

If you happen to have leftover mashed potatoes, add a scoop. Think of it as the midwesterner's tonkostu ramen.
There is nothing either good or bad but gravy makes it so. - Kevin Hearne
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grrlscout
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Location: Phoenix, AZ

6 years ago

Tim H wrote:Grrlscout, the texture of those tamales looks perfect! Something I struggle with (I hate cakey tamales).
Thank you! They turned out really nice.

For the masa, I use my homemade chicken stock for the moisture, plus a healthy amount of fat - this time, a combo of chicken fat, bacon fat, and butter. Whip the fat first, until it's fluffy, and then fold it into the wet masa. Don't overmix.

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~ Korina
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Tim H
Posts: 281
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Location: Gilbert, AZ

6 years ago

Thanks for the tips, grrlscout. Scratch the roast beef, I'm making tamales for Christmas. I'll start saving the chicken fat from my stock.
There is nothing either good or bad but gravy makes it so. - Kevin Hearne
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CelticBellaAZ
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6 years ago

Tim that sounds yummy! I'm going to try that next week.
Good food does not have to be difficult or expensive! Sláinte!
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CelticBellaAZ
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6 years ago

So one of the guys I work with who is a self proclaimed food critic stopped in my office and asked me if I knew how to make shrimp etoufee, after a quick google search, I said "of course I know how to make shrimp etouffee" It seemed pretty simple. He said "if you make me shrimp etouffee, I will take you to lunch" I informed him that he couldn't take me to any lunch that would cost me as much as it would to make this and told him if he bought the shrimp I would give it a go. He bought shrimp, unfortunately he bought cooked and peeled shrimp, not so good.. but I wanted to try it so I got shrimp anyhow. I can honestly say that was one of the easiest, tastiest dishes I have ever made. It was so good. I can't wait to do it again.
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Good food does not have to be difficult or expensive! Sláinte!
meleyna
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6 years ago

Tim H wrote:Sometimes I add parsely and sometimes mashed potatoes (a midwestern thing my dad does), but usually I like it plain. The stock was made from a Costco roast chicken with the breast meat removed and saved for the soup
Ha, I do the same thing with Costco chickens.

We have this probably once a month when it's cold, and I always make my own noodles. My mother is the mashed potato fan. Actually, she likes noodles AND mashed potatoes.
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ScottofStrand
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Location: Mesa, AZ

6 years ago

Had a great dinner at home last night.
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Meats and Cheese
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I finally picked up my tasty cheeses and meats from Lara @ Hotdish Inc. this week! They were all extraordinary. Featured here was the Teahive cheese, from Utah's Beehive Cheeses. I never thought Tea and Cheese could match so well, but it was shockingly good. The Burrata was from Gina's home made in AZ, creamy and delicious. The sausages were Casalinga and Soppresata from Creminelli in Utah. They had a nice waft of that awesome, earthy artisanal funk that I love so much.
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Garbanzo and Friselle
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I also had some leftover Friselle bread from Dolce Vita. If you haven't tried them, i'd seriously recommend picking a package up on your next visit. They're from Puglia, Italy, which Walter said is renowned for their bread. I sprinkled a little water and olive oil on top of the Friselle to soften them up, and then whipped up a quick warm bean salad with Garbanzo beans, shallots, garlic, diced pepperoni, pork fat, basil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper. It was a total throw-together of whatever I had laying around, but sometimes those are how the best bites are made.

It was a perfect start to the New Year! Bring it on 2013!
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Tim H
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Location: Gilbert, AZ

6 years ago

Beautiful plating and photography, Scott.
There is nothing either good or bad but gravy makes it so. - Kevin Hearne
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The Cosmic Jester
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6 years ago

Around La Casa de Jester, dinner tonight is pozole rojo from Rick Bayless's Mexico One Plate At A Time. Nixtamal and pork have been simmering for hours with garlic and onion. The pork (a mix of shoulder, shank, and trotter) will be shredded momentarily. In a few minutes, I'll add puréed (in the VitaMix I got for Christmas, woohoo!) ancho chiles. Then, the chiles and hominy get simmered for another hour. Finally, the pork goes back in, and it's garnished with limes, Napa cabbage, sliced radishes, and oregano. I'm looking forward to this one ^_^
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grrlscout
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Location: Phoenix, AZ

6 years ago

Yummmm! Pozole is my current favorite comfort food.
~ Korina
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Tim H
Posts: 281
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Location: Gilbert, AZ

6 years ago

With the cold weather, I decided to try the coppa recipe from Michael Ruhlman's Salumi using a pork tenderloin. I also referenced Jacques Pepin's saucisson of pork tenderloin recipe. It's basically pork jerky: pork tenderloin dredged in salt, cured overnight, and dried for a week or two. Ruhlman gives a precise ratio for weight:curing time for the dredge method, which in this case should have been 12 hours (Pepin just says overnight). To be safe, I went with 20 hours, and guess what -- Ruhlman and Pepin were right, and I was wrong! The texture is perfect and it has a lovely peppery flavor, but it's too salty.

Still, it's fairly tasty and might work well in pastas, etc. Any suggestions?

To get the proper temp and humidity, I shut the vent in one room and ran a humidifier. This kept the temp at just over 60 degrees and the humidity at around 55 percent. It took 10 days to reduce the weight by 30%.
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The drying closet
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10 days later, 30% lighter
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Last edited by Tim H 6 years ago, edited 2 times in total.
There is nothing either good or bad but gravy makes it so. - Kevin Hearne
M_L
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6 years ago

Looks beautiful. I really need to get around to constructing a curing chamber.
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Tim H
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Location: Gilbert, AZ

6 years ago

M_L wrote:Looks beautiful. I really need to get around to constructing a curing chamber.
I'd like to buy a small refrigerator to use as a drying chamber, but I'm also trying to simplify and throw stuff out. But it's a necessity if I want to attempt more advanced charcuterie. I tried pancetta last year without humidity or temperature control, and it wasn't so great.
There is nothing either good or bad but gravy makes it so. - Kevin Hearne
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Skillet Doux
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6 years ago

Oh, man, why didn't I think of doing that while it's cool? Thanks for the idea.

As far as uses go, I hate to say toss it in a sauce because rehydrating it kind of feels like defeating the purpose, though I imagine that'd fix the saltiness issue. Too lean to render the fat and start a saute... maybe just slice it paper thin and do crostini along with something that's going to eat some of the salt?
Dominic Armato
Dining Critic
Arizona Republic | azcentral.com
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Tim H
Posts: 281
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Location: Gilbert, AZ

6 years ago

Skillet Doux wrote:As far as uses go, I hate to say toss it in a sauce because rehydrating it kind of feels like defeating the purpose, though I imagine that'd fix the saltiness issue. Too lean to render the fat and start a saute... maybe just slice it paper thin and do crostini along with something that's going to eat some of the salt?
Well, my wife's favorite mushroom-cream sauce requires prosciutto, and I think this would work well as a substitute. I'll call it a victory. I'm also trying to find my meat slicer, buried in the garage somewhere....
There is nothing either good or bad but gravy makes it so. - Kevin Hearne
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Skillet Doux
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6 years ago

Tim H wrote:Well, my wife's favorite mushroom-cream sauce requires prosciutto, and I think this would work well as a substitute.
That sounds perfect, actually. I'd think the cream should suck up some salt and mellow out whatever's left nicely.
Dominic Armato
Dining Critic
Arizona Republic | azcentral.com
Libster
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6 years ago

All of the food above looks delicious ^.

I keep trying to remember to take pictures of the food My husband and I make. Some times he cooks, sometimes I cook, and sometimes we cook together. Also I cook 1 meal a week on Thursday for my Nana who has heart problems and diabetes. It's a fun challenge to cook food she likes, that taste good, that is within her Dr. ordered diet.

My husband made steak for me and he knows how I like it. Such a keeper.
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I made my Nana a Lamb Vindaloo for her meal. I eat at this Indian restaurant that serves it and love it. It's not Authentic to the india culture but when the Portuguese came to India this is a dish that was introduced. I've been working on recreating the dish from this restaurant and I'm pretty darn close now. The picture is hard to see but I cube up lamb shoulder, and potato, Vindaloo is a bunch of difference spices like tumeric, tamrind, ginger, garlic, etc. added into a tomato base sauce. I take pearl onions and some vinegar and marinate them and add the vinegar and onions into the sauce, and the lamb and serve over rice. I kept the sauce a little chunky with the tomatoes because thats how my Nana likes it. The one I eat at the restaurant is more blended.

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BarbaraToombs
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Location: Chandler/Tempe, Arizona

6 years ago

Decided to do a real long-cooking rigatoni with spicy Calabrese-style pork ragu...delicious. Big winner...will definitely do again!
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Tim H
Posts: 281
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Location: Gilbert, AZ

6 years ago

I've wanted to make the green curry from David Thompson's Thai food for a long time, and finally got my hands on some kaffir limes for the green curry paste. Since we were making the curry paste, we also made our own coconut milk, which was surprisingly easy.

The curry was a good, solid green curry, fresh tasting and light, but not up there with the best green curries I've had in Thailand. We ended up using double the amount of curry paste to get close the vibrant flavor we were looking for, though we never quite got there. The curry paste is briefly cooked in the rendered coconut fat (cracked coconut), and the coconut-milk solids are kept in the curry. The consistency is closer to soup than chowder because the remaining coconut milk (sans cream) used in the broth is quite thin. This jives with my memory of the best green curries I've in Thailand, though most Thai restaurants serve the same chowdery canned-coconut-milk curries we get in US.

(The best green curry I've had was at the buffet at the Grand Hyatt Erawan in Bangkok a few years ago. After living in Thailand for three years, I thought I knew what a good green curry tasted like. But this was one of those moments when I realized that my expectations for green curry were way too low: it should be very spicy but also fresh and explosively vibrant. It should knock your socks off.)
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Ingredients for green curry paste
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You could probably use a food processor...
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The finished green curry paste
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Green curry with fish and shrimp
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Last edited by Tim H 6 years ago, edited 1 time in total.
There is nothing either good or bad but gravy makes it so. - Kevin Hearne
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Skillet Doux
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6 years ago

God, that looks fabulous, Tim. I've done a couple of things out of this book, but it's been a while and I really need to get off my ass, stop lamenting that I can't find the Thai food I like and make it my damn self.

FYI, I use kaffir lime leaf when I make Beef Rendang, and I've always had good luck finding it at Lee Lee in Chandler. They seem to carry it pretty consistently.
Dominic Armato
Dining Critic
Arizona Republic | azcentral.com
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