Cooking Thread

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    chrondog
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    Cooking Thread

    Post by chrondog on Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:24 pm

    I love to cook. My love of cooking comes from my father who, growing up, made our family a home-cooked meal five or more times a week. He grew up in Des Moines, Iowa and started to cook 4 his family so he didn't have to eat the boring food his mom made. While he came from a Midwestern Anglo-German family, his style is very eclectic: I've seen him master dishes from chow mein to curry to Mexican stuffed bell peppers. His style and living in the SF Bay Area have exposed me to a good amount of different cuisine throughout my life. I'm not the most adventurous eater (U won't C me getting liver or gizzard yakitori), but I appreciate a range of food styles.

    I still probably eat out/eat processed food more than I make nice home cooked meals, but many of my favorite nights R the ones spent at the cutting board or the stove top. Over the past few years I've experimented with pressing my own tortillas, making homemade pickles & escabeche, frying up Japanese karaage, blending my own fruity vinaigrettes, roasting whole racks of vegetables in the oven, whipping up a hollandaise 4 my home fries, and perfecting a blended almond torte.

    This is a thread to post your cooking creations, discuss recipes and ingredients, and celebrate all the things U can do with food.
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    chrondog
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by chrondog on Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:31 pm

    This is spaghetti all'amatriciana. I was inspired to make a version of this dish after the recent leveling of the town of Amatrice by the earthquake in Italy and this article from NPR: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/08/25/491370926/food-world-rallies-4-quake-hit-amatrice-home-of-famous-pasta-dish. It's a very sad situation.



    I have made this dish once before and was not satisfied at all. The first time I made it I used lots of guanciale and the rich, porky flavor of the sauce was completely overpowering. The concept was still great to me--a sauce of pork fat, tomato, and chili topped with hard, salty cheese--but my execution was off. Since that failed experiment I've made other "spicy pasta" dishes and found it to be an addictive combo. There's something about a tomato sauce with just the right amount of spice that makes it impossible to put down. I decided to return to the well and give it another shot after reading the article. This time I decided that I would use some bacon I had lying around rather than making a trip to the specialty Italian deli 4 guanciale. I also opted to use a metric fuckton of garlic since I am a crazy garlic lover. Here is my very imprecise recipe (which is how I often like to cook):

    1/2 pound spaghetti
    8 cloves of garlic
    1 large can (28oz) San Marzano tomatoes (the best, of course, but U can use any tomatoes)
    a handful of red chili flakes (the fresher and spicier the better)
    4 strips of bacon
    two spoonfuls of bacon fat
    lots of salt and a little black pepper
    the best Pecorino-Romano cheese U can find (Parmesan is a fine substitute, but Pecorino-Romano is better)

    This will make a very wet and saucy pasta. Mine was too liquidy when I first combined the pasta and the sauce, but after a day in the refrigerator it was perfect (the picture U C is from today, the day after cooking). I'd say U could comfortably get away with cooking a whole pound (one box) of spaghetti with this amount of sauce. Also, note that my bacon was precooked and the fat was already rendered off. That's why I'm adding straight bacon fat to the sauce rather than just using fat from the bacon in the pan. If U're using uncooked bacon U don't need to add extra fat, but I would start with more bacon and cook it longer. U can also use panchetta as the cured pork in this dish. Guanciale is the traditional protein and will add a different and distinctive taste, but it is a very fatty product and more difficult to use if U're not familiar with it.

    -Boil the pasta in very salty water to your desired softness.
    -Start the minced garlic in a pan with olive oil. Cook until golden and the aromatics R released.
    -Add the bacon to the pan, render any fat. Add the chili flakes, but don't go overboard. U can always add more flake directly to the tomato sauce and at that stage U'll be able to taste it. Cook until the bacon begins to brown, but not too crispy.
    -Add the whole can of tomatoes and mix in the bacon fat. Stir to combine.
    -Add salt and pepper to taste as it cooks. Occasionally stir the sauce while simmering over low-medium heat 4 10-15 minutes.
    -Strain the pasta, combine with sauce, toss in a little grated Pecorino-Romano, and serve topped with extra Pecorino-Romano. If U're me U also bought a $6 Chianti and drank it out of a champagne glass covered in purple stars.

    I had two bowls of this 4 dinner last night and two more 4 lunch. Fucking delicious.

    Tonight, I use the rest of my bacon and Pecorino-Romano to make spaghetti alla carbonara, another expert Roman dish that we all know and love.
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    petey
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by petey on Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:17 am

    Damn that's a lot of garlic
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    chrondog
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by chrondog on Sat Aug 27, 2016 5:07 pm

    garlic is shockingly well tamed by fresh tomato sauce. i was surprised by how much garlic is in this classic marinara recipe, 4 example: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1015987-classic-marinara-sauce
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by zappo on Sat Aug 27, 2016 5:22 pm

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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by ClosetOfExhaustion on Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:31 pm

    last week made homemade pizza on sunday (pizza dough had fresh homegrown basil mixed into it).
    monday night we had turkey banh mi burgers
    tuesday was red pepper pesto & penne pasta.

    we don't usually have time to cook something fresh up most nights, but we're aiming 4 at least 3-4 times a week.
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by Duff... on Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:27 pm

    Had a leftover MGD from when my dad came over 4 Fathers' Day so I used it to marinate a carne asada. Gonna need to do that every week now.
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by chrondog on Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:41 pm

    OJ + a beer R a fantastic marinate 4 any Mexican-style meats
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by Duff... on Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:59 pm

    Yeah, also had lime juice, olive oil, white vinegar, cilantro, and a metric fuckton of garlic.
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by chrondog on Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:20 pm

    That's my shit! Throw it in the slow cooker or oven 4 5-10 hours and U've got yourself some fall-off-the-bone delicious meat!!

    My last batch of homemade carnitas was so fun.

    Homemade pickled red onions R one of my favorite condiments to make with these types of meats. I enjoy a Yucatecan version that uses the flavor of bitter oranges and bay leaf: http://www.latinofoodie.com/recipes/side-dish/red-onion-escabeche/. This recipe is similar to what I've done in the past. Sub out all the vinegar and use bitter orange/bitter orange juice as your pickling liquid if U can get it. I also use a diced yellow waxy pepper or two in there and whole allspice berries if U have them.
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by Duff... on Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:30 pm

    Fall-off-the-bone is not a style I'm usually interested in but I def gotta use the slow cooker more.

    This though:

    chrondog wrote:
    My last batch of homemade carnitas was so fun.

    This I'm interested in.
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by chrondog on Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:45 pm

    U can put anything U want in the pot, but something like this: http://www.recipetineats.com/pork-carnitas-mexican-slow-cooker-pulled-pork/

    A pork shoulder 4 10 hours with orange juice is the main part. U can add cola or beer 4 additional acid/yeast to break down everything while it's cooking. U can also add water or chicken stock to change the texture/intensity of the fat drippings. I like a couple bay leaves in there because it adds a depth of flavor that I'm familiar with. Cumin is the only spice I'd consider essential, but people love their Mexican oregano 4 whatever reason.

    Once the pork is cooked and shreddy, U can do it on the stove top 4 a couple minutes to give it the carnitas crunch. Brown the pork in it's own juices 4 extra flavor.
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by chrondog on Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:42 am

    Grilled romaine hearts salad--

    Grill romaine lettuce hearts, chop off stems and chop lettuce in half lengthwise
    Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt
    Great job!
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by Nick on Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:24 am

    That sounds so good!
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by chrondog on Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:03 pm

    Nick wrote:That sounds so good!

    that deliciousness of that salad was a nice consolation considering I wrecked a nice ribeye on the grill. still practicing my grill technique. there was no such issue with my mushroom steak sauce though, that was a highlight of the weekend.

    chrondog wrote:U can put anything U want in the pot, but something like this: http://www.recipetineats.com/pork-carnitas-mexican-slow-cooker-pulled-pork/

    A pork shoulder 4 10 hours with orange juice is the main part. U can add cola or beer 4 additional acid/yeast to break down everything while it's cooking. U can also add water or chicken stock to change the texture/intensity of the fat drippings. I like a couple bay leaves in there because it adds a depth of flavor that I'm familiar with. Cumin is the only spice I'd consider essential, but people love their Mexican oregano 4 whatever reason.

    Once the pork is cooked and shreddy, U can do it on the stove top 4 a couple minutes to give it the carnitas crunch. Brown the pork in it's own juices 4 extra flavor.

    did a little batch of carnitas-style stuff this weekend too. let it go 4 about 15 hours overnight on low in the slow cooker. i cooked it in the liquid from some pickled onions and peppers i'd had in the fridge 4 two months. added in the juice of a fresh lime, some chicken stock, another bay leaf, some habanero hot sauce, more peppercorns, and allspice berries. i only cooked a pound of pork shoulder and did a rub of salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and lots of achiote (http://latinfood.about.com/od/seasoningmarinade/p/What-is-achiote.htm). the combination of achiote and all the citrus gave this pork a bit of a tang. it shredded extremely nicely.



    i then took all the juice from the slow cooker (at this point, a combination of pork fat, smushy onions, and juice) and reduced it in a skillet 4 20 minutes. i added some of that flavorful juice back to the shredded pork and stored it. the rest i can use 4 something later.


    Last edited by chrondog on Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by Ҩ on Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:43 am

    I have nothing to contribute to this thread at all but I just wanted to say that these dishes look delicious. Good on ya, Chrono!
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by ClosetOfExhaustion on Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:35 pm

    got some homemade kimchi fermenting that i'm gonna add to a kimchi & pork shoulder stew this friday or saturday. never made homemade kimchi before
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by Bruegel on Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:20 pm

    We currently have a Korean/Italian couple staying with us. They R both amazing in the kitchen. I've been watching them instead of telly.

    Might need to go 4 some longer runs when they R gone because Im not skipping any of these meals.
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by chrondog on Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:01 pm

    Made this batch of romesco last night 4 the first time. Ate it with some roast zucchini, a cheap sirloin, and some Tempranillo. All in all, baller.




    I also started my first batch of kombucha ever. My sister gave me a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCOBY, so getting started was easy. I got a two gallon or so jar from Goodwill, and covered the top with cheesecloth and a rubberband. It's sitting in my wardrobe right now, which is hopefully dark enough 4 everything to ferment. Will check on this on Sunday and C how much progress its made.
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by Duff... on Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:34 pm

    Bruegel wrote:We currently have a Korean/Italian couple staying with us. They R both amazing in the kitchen.

    Despite the context my brain was 4 some reason surprised this sentence didn't end with the words "in bed".
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by Ted Falconi on Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:04 pm

    Cut up an eggplant into like 1/4 slices, sprinkle the slices with salt and stack them up 4 a few hours. They will sweat out a good deal of water, which will make them easier to grill.

    Cook some brown rice.

    Dice up some tomatoes - I usually get something like cherry or those cute multicolored pints of small tomates - and put them on the side. If U've got some basil and/or oregano or "Italian seasoning" throw some in there too.

    Rub or spray the eggplant with Olive oil. If U feel like it, put some black or red pepper and/or the above mentioned spices on the slices and grill them on a medium hot grill.

    Put the cooked rice in a bowl, put the eggplant over it, then the tomato mixture, and then drench it in tahini.

    Pretty decent!
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by chrondog on Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:07 am

    roasted a chicken last night along with some shallots, organic rainbow carrots, onions, and lemons. made gravy from the drippings. used the bones to make a stock. used the chicken stock to cook/flavor a batch of black beans. added more water to the bones to rip the last of the flavor from those bones.

    last night's chicken was served with skin-on cheesy mashed potatoes. recipe:

    8 Yukon gold potatoes
    2 small red potatoes
    2 cloves garlic
    1 stick butter
    extra sharp cheddar
    Greek yogurt
    Mexican style sour cream
    salt and pepper to taste

    chop the potatoes into small pieces and boil. drain the water and mash the potatoes with a spoon/whisk/whatever. in a small saucepan melt the butter and add cheese, chopped garlic, some yogurt and sour cream. wait till that mixture is creamy and transfer to the mashed potatoes. salt and pepper to taste. add more sour cream or yogurt until the potatoes have a creamy consistency.

    these were insanely good.

    i also made a batch of a dozen or so homemade tortillas this morning. then made my red onion escabeche. roasted two habaneros, four poblanos, and six tomatillos. used the six tomatillos, one poblano and half a habanero to make a salsa verde (with white onion, cilantro, juice of two limes, olive oil). used the other three roast poblanos and half a habanero to make a poblano crema (added white onion, cilantro, juice of two limes and Mexican style sour cream). now i have a ton of frozen sauce.
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by Duff... on Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:23 am

    That sounds great.

    My typical mash potato recipe is potatoes and a shit ton of butter, but I might have to try that.
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by chrondog on Sun Oct 09, 2016 1:15 am

    the upgrade from Russet to Yukon gold makes a world of difference. the Russets R pretty flavorless and dry compared to the gold. the skins of the red potato provided a nice pop of color in an otherwise monochromatic dish. the tanginess of the yogurt/sour cream is a nice counterbalance to all the richness and creates a really nice texture. two cloves of garlic is enough to give the addictive essence of garlic, but not overpower the simplicity of the other flavors. the amount of cheese to add is totally up to U!
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    Re: Cooking Thread

    Post by Duff... on Sun Oct 09, 2016 2:05 am

    Yukon golds R good, though I usually do red skin. Russets R good 4 Christmas etc where U're covering them in a rich gravy anyway.

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