Cookin again

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Tried something new…

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Not the sautéed zucchini, onions & tomatoes…

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Not the pan full of NY Strips bring sautéed in butter & EVOO…

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THIS: a creamy blue cheese dipping sauce!

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Plated.

This was my first attempt at mimicking the creamy blue cheese dipping sauce that comes with the bacon-wrapped flatiron appetizer at Boston’s Pizza (a Canadian chain spreading through the USA). It’s such a good dipping sauce that 2 people I know who don’t like blue cheeses in general demand their own ramekins when we order this appetizer.

This time I used half a stick of unsalted butter, a half container of heavy whipping cream, 2/3 of a wedge of Blue Dauvergne cheese, and ground black pepper. The only complaint: not thick enough. Next time, I’m using the whole cheese wedge.
 

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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Happy birthday to Gordon, my sourdough starter, who is celebrating his 2nd year today.

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Drat...slightly under-proved. Ah well.

CleverSourDough
200g bread flour
300g whole wheat bread flour
350g water
12g salt
100g sourdough starter*
  1. Mix the first four ingredients together, let stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Then knead for 10 minutes in the bowl, working the sourdough starter in until smooth.
  3. Bulk ferment for two hours, using the "stretch and fold" technique to develop the gluten.
  4. Shape the dough, place it in a well-floured banaton, and let rise in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Put a pizza stone in the oven, and preheat to 450°F for at least an hour. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper, slash the top, and let it rest while the oven preheats.
  6. Bake directly on the hot stone at 450°F for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F for another 40 minutes.
  7. The last step is the hardest: allow the loaf to cool completely before slicing.
*made from a 50/50 mixture of all-purpose flour and water, by weight. This ratio, along with the quantities above, will give you a dough with 73% hydration.
 
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prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
How much maintenance does Gordon need? My wife was making some sourdough for a while that didn't need much starter upkeep.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
How much maintenance does Gordon need? My wife was making some sourdough for a while that didn't need much starter upkeep.
Not a lot, actually. He's like a houseplant that lives in the refrigerator: I just feed and water him every week, and he's happy.

He lives in a glass flip-top jar with the gasket removed. On Friday I take him out of the fridge and feed him. On Saturday, I waste* half of him, and feed him again. Sunday I make the dough, feed him, and then put him back in the fridge for another five-day nap.

*When I say "waste," I mean that I pour him into a bowl, add some extra flour, baking soda, etc., and make pancakes or flatbread out of him.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
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Last things first, fully plated: Prime rib with creamy horseradish, turnip roots, and eggplant w/ shrimp & bacon.


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Eggplant is Mom’s favorite veggie. So we collaborated to try something slightly different. Here’s the eggplant, sautéed with onions, tomatoes, bacon and seasoning ( more on that later).

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Here it is after the shrimp were added and cooked.

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Diced turnips, done with EVOO, butter, salt, parsley. They were cooked in the microwave, one of the better ways to handle starchy or watery veggies.

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The rib roast, resting.

NOTES:
1) this was my second try with the reverse sear method, and I liked the results. I’m a convert. However I made one mistake- I skipped the step where you take the meat out of the oven while it heats up to full power for the sear. This is actually the KEY to the results you want from this method, namely, maximizing your medium-rare while minimizing the well done border.

2) I used the essentially the same seasoning mix on the eggplant as on the rib roast because I had a bunch left over. The mix was salt, black pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, rosemary and thyme. Parsley & chives were added to the eggplant as well. The eggplant was diced but not peeled. Shrimp were added next to last: submerged in the pot’s liquid & contents, and the pot turned off to poach them perfectly. The last step was adding a sleeve of crumbled Ritz crackers to add a buttery, salty punch AND bind & thicken the remaining liquids in the pot into something like a purée.

The result was surprising: the flavor was almost like an okra gumbo, despite having few ingredients in common. If I had added chicken stock to the pot, I could have passed it off as one. I’m not the biggest fan of eggplant- it’s THE defining line between veggies I like and those I don’t- but I’ll be making this again.

3) the diced turnip roots were done in the microwave with EVOO, butter, salt, pepper and parsley because the results we get that way are generally superior to other methods we’ve used in the past. The microwave essentially steams the roots quickly from the inside out, all while dehydrating them a bit. This results in tender, slightly sweet turnips.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Mom & I tried Dominican cuisine for the first time tonight. We had stewed chicken with red beans & rice, a slow cooked goat dish with fried yucca, 2 different kinds of empanadas, and some sweet plantains.

Not bad, but Mom was less than impressed. Good enough to eat, but not calling her strongly to return. She did enjoy the empanadas and plantains, though. She thought my goat was better than her chicken, and the (vegetarian) red beans were lightly seasoned and soupier compared to how we do ours or what we’ve had in Colombian restaurants.

I still want to try some other options, though.
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I enjoyed everything I tried, even if it didn’t “Wow!” me. I’m definitely looking forward to the leftovers.

Bonus: this place is new (to this location, at least), so they don’t even have a full menu yet. So there’s LOTS more to try on the horizon.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I enjoyed everything I tried, even if it didn’t “Wow!” me. I’m definitely looking forward to the leftovers.

Bonus: this place is new (to this location, at least), so they don’t even have a full menu yet. So there’s LOTS more to try on the horizon.

I sometimes like places like that for variety. My other half (third she's kinda short) loves her favorites. That means we eat them over and over.

And sometimes I just want something basic. Favorite place does so an awesome cheeseburger though.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I sometimes like places like that for variety. My other half (third she's kinda short) loves her favorites. That means we eat them over and over.

And sometimes I just want something basic. Favorite place does so an awesome cheeseburger though.
Yep!

Not every meal has to be an adventure. Sometimes, you want your metaphorical comfy slippers and cozy blanket.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
We call these Belgian biscuits. Not sure if they're unique to NZ/ maybe Australia.

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Two cinnamon cookies held togather with raspberry jam with vanilla icing and raspberry jelly crystals on top.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Party like it's 1985.

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Bacon and egg pie with chocolate milk. Milks a kids one but it was on sale around 0.75 usd with less Suger than soda.

Pie was nice enough but very little bacon essentially an egg pie.

Late autumn but almost 17 degrees Celsius. Very good for deep south and this time of year t shirt weather.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I love chocolate…but I’m mildly allergic to it, I still eat it, but sparingly.

I may have mentioned this before, but did find a partial workaround, though. I bought some ToranI coffee syrup, and it’s a remarkable substitute for chocolate syrup. I’ve mostly had it on ice cream, but I bet a “coffee” milk would be similarly enjoyable.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
I love chocolate…but I’m mildly allergic to it, I still eat it, but sparingly.

I may have mentioned this before, but did find a partial workaround, though. I bought some ToranI coffee syrup, and it’s a remarkable substitute for chocolate syrup. I’ve mostly had it on ice cream, but I bet a “coffee” milk would be similarly enjoyable.
Chocolate overtones are relatively common in coffee--which I'm sure you know, as I know you have a relative (father, IIRC) who's serious about his coffee.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Yep!

i was originally going to have him make some coffee and I’d blend it with simple syrup, but when I found the Torani, I didn’t see any point in reinventing the meal.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I don't eat much chocolate. Took me 4 days to eat a half pound Reese's peanut cup my friend in Houston sent me last week.

NZ flavoured milk isn't super sweet 7% Suger vs 10-11% soda.

I don't add Suger to coffee or tee. Not a massive fan of soda so I'll usually buy water or flavoured milk.

I don't mind a mocha though but will usually alternative between a flat white (Sunday) and a mocha today (Tuesday).
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Driving around after our eye exams, Mom & I tried a new (to us) place: Shawarma World.


They’ve been open for about 3 years, in a strip mall very close to where my father’s second office used to be. It’s not big, I’d say fewer than a dozen tables total- it would fit in most American fast food chain locations with room to spare.

The menu isn’t big, either, but it’s a nice selection nonetheless. Because we were eating in the car and only wanted a light snack, I got us two drinks, an order of their rice-stuffed grape leaves, and a chicken shawarma wrap (cut in half) with fries.

Their fries were nearly perfect. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside. Mom’s only complaint was not enough salt, but I thought they were fine. The wraps were tasty and slightly messy, as they should be. The stuffed grape leaves were served hot with a thick citrus & olive oil sauce similar to greek avgolemono and some nice pickles & tomatoes.

The guy working the register was waaaaaay cool, and it was obvious the staff was keeping that place as clean as possible.

Even though Mom wasn’t too happy with the grape leaves- she prefers meaty ones, which are relatively rare around here- she thought this place was good enough to make a return to at some future point.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Driving around after our eye exams, Mom & I tried a new (to us) place: Shawarma World.


They’ve been open for about 3 years, in a strip mall very close to where my father’s second office used to be. It’s not big, I’d say fewer than a dozen tables total- it would fit in most American fast food chain locations with room to spare.

The menu isn’t big, either, but it’s a nice selection nonetheless. Because we were eating in the car and only wanted a light snack, I got us two drinks, an order of their rice-stuffed grape leaves, and a chicken shawarma wrap (cut in half) with fries.

Their fries were nearly perfect. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside. Mom’s only complaint was not enough salt, but I thought they were fine. The wraps were tasty and slightly messy, as they should be. The stuffed grape leaves were served hot with a thick citrus & olive oil sauce similar to greek avgolemono and some nice pickles & tomatoes.

The guy working the register was waaaaaay cool, and it was obvious the staff was keeping that place as clean as possible.

Even though Mom wasn’t too happy with the grape leaves- she prefers meaty ones, which are relatively rare around here- she thought this place was good enough to make a return to at some future point.

Stuffed grape leaves were dolma?

Menu looks very familiar except here there's normally lamb as an option with the chicken and falafel.

Kinda similar to that Arabic place I used to rave about but less options.

The hole in wall types with a few seats very similar to here.

Got a birthday coming up in July thinking of this place.

 
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