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Cookin again

Zardnaar

Legend
Cursed Thanksgiving’s final tally:

Besides the dead oven, blocked plumbing & temperamental circuitry in the kitchen, and my sliced right index finger, I also chalked up a slice to my LEFT index finger and a leaky filter on our second refrigerator’s water dispenser/ice maker.

BUT...

All the dishes I cooked came out aces, my maternal aunt sent deviled eggs and a ham, and our purchased fried turkey was perfect. Our guest took a picture of her plate- I’ll post it after she sends me a copy.

I’ll call it a close victory. 😉

How do you manage to cut yourself?

Spent 5 years with a filleting knife never cut myself once. Wife cuts herself as well.

I'm probably slow though cutting stuff but it gets done in time for when I need it.
 

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Zardnaar

Legend
Friday night fry up.

IMG_20201127_183737.jpg


Egg, cheese, bacon burger with chips and hotdog courtesy of local Fish and Chip shop.

Was supposed to cook but someone decided to eat all the food at work party.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
How do you manage to cut yourself?

Spent 5 years with a filleting knife never cut myself once. Wife cuts herself as well.

I'm probably slow though cutting stuff but it gets done in time for when I need it.
Well, I’m usually pretty slow & methodical because every time I speed up, I lose discipline with controlling my pushing/holding hand, and my fingers slowly uncurl. This has resulted in other cooks criticizing me as “slow”. I may be able to make delicious food, but I can’t maintain the pace required to work in a professional kitchen.

At the time, I was just doing some gross chopping- my fingers were not supposed to be anywhere near the blade- so I was chopping fast (for me). But I had been having some control issues with my knife hand because of the prior injury. The knife shifted in my loosened grip, and I shaved off the side of the tip of my left index finger. Fortunately, even though the location and size of the cut was similar to the one in the right, it was nowhere near as deep. It didn’t really even bleed.

It’s sore enough, though. And anything hot I touched seemed to be right in those injuries.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Well, I’m usually pretty slow & methodical because every time I speed up, I lose discipline with controlling my pushing/holding hand, and my fingers slowly uncurl. This has resulted in other cooks criticizing me as “slow”. I may be able to make delicious food, but I can’t maintain the pace required to work in a professional kitchen.

At the time, I was just doing some gross chopping- my fingers were not supposed to be anywhere near the blade- so I was chopping fast (for me). But I had been having some control issues with my knife hand because of the prior injury. The knife shifted in my loosened grip, and I shaved off the side of the tip of my left index finger. Fortunately, even though the location and size of the cut was similar to the one in the right, it was nowhere near as deep. It didn’t really even bleed.

It’s sore enough, though. And anything hot I touched seemed to be right in those injuries.

Must be sharp knife. Don't feel as much from them.

Used to get mine sharp enough to take hairs off your arm. Could go fast enough professionally but that was a while ago. At home slow down no hurry.

Stopped sharpening the knives that sharp due to room mates/wife being scared of them, it's semi pointless and everyone just blunted them anyway.

My favorite steel is an old one very smooth. Think it's still in the drawer.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I keep mine pretty sharp. Some kinds of knife work just can’t be done with a dull knife, like cutting your veggies super thin,

Much easier to control, too. Dull knives require more force to cut, and that means if you make a mistake or the material getting cut gives way unexpectedly, there’s more force behind that blade. More force behind the cut means it’s that much harder to regain control of the knife.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I keep mine pretty sharp. Some kinds of knife work just can’t be done with a dull knife, like cutting your veggies super thin,

Much easier to control, too. Dull knives require more force to cut, and that means if you make a mistake or the material getting cut gives way unexpectedly, there’s more force behind that blade. More force behind the cut means it’s that much harder to regain control of the knife.

We just use serrated ones now. Supermarkets employ butchers so don't really need to devbone anything.

Used to be able to get the knives off mates at freezing works but don't know anyone working there anymore.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
We just use serrated ones now. Supermarkets employ butchers so don't really need to devbone anything.

Used to be able to get the knives off mates at freezing works but don't know anyone working there anymore.
Depends on what you’re working with.

But, to my chagrin, all I was doing when I cut myself the second time was trimming things to fit in the food processor. About as safe a cutting job as there is.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
Depends on what you’re working with.

But, to my chagrin, all I was doing when I cut myself the second time was trimming things to fit in the food processor. About as safe a cutting job as there is.
I managed to collect a fair amount of spatter on my hands and forearms as the mud pot was blorping, but it was more painful than actually damaging.
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member






Fresh, cleaned mustard green leaves, de-stemmed from 15 bunches.
Meat stripped from smoked Turkey legs
4 yellow onions

Ingredients not pictured: chicken broth, flour, salt, pepper

Rinse mustard green bunches until they’re no longer sandy. Pare or tear the leaves from the stems. The stems of most greens- mustards included- are edible but bitter, and taking this step will make it easier to season this dish properly.

Strip & cut up meat from 3-4 smoked turkey legs*, being careful to remove the sinews.

Chop then sauté your onions in butter over low/medium heat. Deglaze pot with some of the broth, then add the turkey meat.

While that cooks a little, chiffonade the mustard greens. This will let them cook more quickly and make the finished dish easier to eat. After the cutting is done, add them to the pot, along with most of the remaining chicken broth. Cook them until tender, stirring occasionally. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Optional step: With the last of the chicken broth, create a slurry with flour. It should look like milk or even oatmeal. Adding this slurry at the end of the cooking will cause the liquids in the pot to form a glaze on the leaves that traps the nutrients and flavors that leached out of the greens while cooking. I do this with ALL of my greens now.

If you’ve made greens before and add this step and removing the stems with the amount of seasoning you usually use, they will taste over-seasoned.

* I used to use ham, bacon or even sausage, which are more traditional, but created this variation to accommodate some Jewish & Muslim guests to my 2015 Thanksgiving dinner. The reaction to the change was so overwhelmingly positive that I’ve used smoked turkey ever since.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Mirliton, aka chayote squash




Prep your mirliton/chayote squash by parboiling, cooling, peeling, putting, dicing and draining it of excess liquid. Draining it is often a combination of pressing it and baking it in your oven or similar appliance.

Note: the large seed is edible, but not right for this dish.

Chop 2lbs of bacon or ham, and sauté. Deglaze your pan and add the diced garlic and leeks to the pan. (Onion is more traditional, but leeks work just as well.)

Add your squash to the pot, along with a stick of butter, chicken broth, bay leaf (3+), salt, black and red pepper, thyme, parsley. Cook on low/med heat until the squash is relatively tender- soft enough that most pieces can be cut or mashed with your cooking spoon.

After the squash has softened, add your peeled, cleaned shrimp (2lbs this time, fully thawed) to the pot, stir well, cover and turn off. Let sit for 10 minutes. The shrimp will be MOSTLY but not completely cooked.

Turn heat back on low, adding another stick of butter and 2 bags of bread crumbs- we usually use Pepperidge Farms- and fold it in thoroughly. Feel free to add more broth if resulting dish is too dry.

When the butter is melted and the shrimp are just about done, turn off and serve.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Kurdish shish. He gave me all the hummus as he likes me taking the D&D group to his place.

IMG_20201125_175733.jpg


Couple of falafel everything on top of salad.

Not much more than a McDonald's large combo. Alot of sauce.
 
Last edited:


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Our replacement oven- and microwave- will be coming in early March 2021. That is NOT a typo. Foreign & domestic brands alike have seen C19 related slowdowns in both parts manufacturing and product assembly factories. When we placed our order in mid-November, the soonest we could get anything that worked for our kitchen was mid-December. So we figured if we were going to be waiting regardless, we might as well get exactly what we wanted.

Alas, we can’t do anything like a pit oven. The only level parts of our yard are either paved or have stone walking paths thro them. And that ignores the irrigation and drainage systems, power lines, and fiber-optic cables that run underneath...

OTOH, I have a cooktop in our kitchen island, lots of cooking appliances, 2 BBQs, and annelectric smoker- mostly underutilized. So I‘m going to have to expand my skillset a bit. Boo-hoo!
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
OTOH, I have a cooktop in our kitchen island, lots of cooking appliances, 2 BBQs, and annelectric smoker- mostly underutilized. So I‘m going to have to expand my skillset a bit. Boo-hoo!
I had been thinking you were getting a replacement range, which would have meant you were sans both oven/s and cooktop, which would have been ... extremely rough. Sounds as though you have enough to get by for a while, though.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member


Last week, I did ribeye steaks, sautéed mushrooms, and baked Brussels sprouts for me & my folks. It was a bit surprising because 2 things happened that NEVER happen: Dad enjoyed the sprouts, and Mom actually asked for seconds on the ‘shrooms.

This was snapped a minute or do before putting the last of the leftovers into the toaster oven for warming.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member


Finally got the sole picture of the thanksgiving dinner from our guest- this is basically what our meal looked like for us. That’s cajun fried turkey, glazed ham, mirliton (aka chayote squash), oyster dressing, mustard greens and white rice.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member


Usually, I do butts for pulled pork in my oven. But my oven is dead and the replacement won’t be installed until MARCH. And Mom put in a special request because they were on sale for 97¢/lb...

This was just over 8lbs.:D

I could have done it in our smoker, but I’m still getting the hang of it. So I braised it in a Dutch oven on the stovetop for @8 hours.

The result was nearly identical to those I got from the oven. The oven usually delivers a better, crispier crust.



This is a sandwich done with the pork, BBQ sauce and Lebanese garlic spread. Served with Vietnamese pickled carrots and daikon. Not pictured- the Tostitos that hit the plate a few minutes later.
 

Zardnaar

Legend


Usually, I do butts for pulled pork in my oven. But my oven is dead and the replacement won’t be installed until MARCH. And Mom put in a special request because they were on sale for 97¢/lb...

This was just over 8lbs.:D

I could have done it in our smoker, but I’m still getting the hang of it. So I braised it in a Dutch oven on the stovetop for @8 hours.

The result was nearly identical to those I got from the oven. The oven usually delivers a better, crispier crust.



This is a sandwich done with the pork, BBQ sauce and Lebanese garlic spread. Served with Vietnamese pickled carrots and daikon. Not pictured- the Tostitos that hit the plate a few minutes later.

That's like $3 a kilo here. Cheapest meat is chicken usually about 3 times that price. On special.

Anything else is probably more like $7 usd a pound for hamburger meat.
 


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