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Jeff Spicoli

What Are You Cooking?

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:)

 

Well, that just took a massive healthy food drop - the cauli cheese was great :)

 

Cheers

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Rib eye. And some (store-bought) cheese and potato pierogi. And another scotch cocktail--can't decide if I want to revisit last night's Talisker/Fernet Branca/red vermouth/Grand Marnier number or dive into another, a mix of Speyside (leaning towards Glenfarclas, but might head down the Aberlour road), Punt e Mes and Lillet. Decisions.

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Rib eye.

Nice, I had a day off today and had that for lunch.

 

For dinner I have 2 chickens on the rotisserie.

 

I love my Summit.

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Something else ticking away: some 'asado' ribs dry-aging in the fridge. When I bought them I was planning to smoke them, but now I'm leaning towards dropping the oven to ~60C, wrapping them in foil and giving them a good 12 hours.

 

You've got to put a duck on the rotisserie one time. Just put a couple of gashes around the legs so they cook at the same rate as the breasts (or, you know, save the legs for some other purpose--there are many, most of them wonderful--and just BBQ the breasts on the crown). Also need to get around to making porcetta, too.

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Out of curiosity, Komuso, how'd you candy the peel?

It was really simple. I used a peeler and avoided the pith because I wanted thin strips to garnish the donuts. Boil for one minute, rinse in cold water, boil again, rinse again, then simmer in a 3:2 sugar and water syrup for fifteen minutes. Drain syrup, leave to dry for a while on drying paper. Time frames are all longer for chunkier peel with pith, but basic method is the same.

 

Served with coffee from your new machine, yes ?

 

/ mmmmmmm choc donuts mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Just plain donuts with nothing at all go so well with coffee. But all combinations were explored (:

 

The peel was a fantastic combo with the chocolate ganache. The citrus taste contrasts so well. Going to have to do choc coated chunky peel soon. Salty pistachios worked well too. I love that sweet/salty combo. Reese's peanut butter products for example, nasty as they are, very tasty.

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Part of a scotch fillet (rib eye) steak is the Spinalis Dorsi, a fantastically marbled piece of beef that is a real delight to eat. I've cooked it numerous times on a hot plate, but have found that it really, really likes being cooked medium rare - 54c - in a temperature controlled water bath. After ~4 hours, it falls apart like a good braise, but it as juicy and pink as if it were cooked rare. You can find it on a scotch fillet by looking for a greater degree of marbling on a thin strip covering about half the rim of the steak.

 

I accompanied it with mushroom puree (ok), black carrot puree (brilliant), a stock based sauce (ok, need to concentrate without increasing saltiness), baby turnip, baby beetroot, asparagus and a few fried button mushrooms.

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Guest MrInsaneBuff

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Part of a scotch fillet (rib eye) steak is the Spinalis Dorsi, a fantastically marbled piece of beef that is a real delight to eat. I've cooked it numerous times on a hot plate, but have found that it really, really likes being cooked medium rare - 54c - in a temperature controlled water bath. After ~4 hours, it falls apart like a good braise, but it as juicy and pink as if it were cooked rare. You can find it on a scotch fillet by looking for a greater degree of marbling on a thin strip covering about half the rim of the steak.

 

I accompanied it with mushroom puree (ok), black carrot puree (brilliant), a stock based sauce (ok, need to concentrate without increasing saltiness), baby turnip, baby beetroot, asparagus and a few fried button mushrooms.

 

You forgot to mention the micro greens. Coriander, and something else if i am not mistaken.

 

Texas Vegtable Chilli.

 

Carrot, Mushrooms (Shitake, Portabello, and Swiss Browns), Eggplant, Butter Beans, Yellow Squash, and Capsicum were the hero's (fucking Mastercheff) of the dish. There was some Pumpkin as well but it disintergrated which was ok, it thickened up the gravy.

 

I made a MASSIVE batch of it, and except for a portion and a half (which was my dinner) its all sitting in individule meal portion containers in the freezer.

 

The recipe i based it off is really meant to have Beef in it, but today was a non protein day, and i figured it would make menu choice simpler for those nights i just CBF when i got home. I have some soups frozen as well, but i need to do a few more. A curried pumpkin and coriander soup perhaps.

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I spent most of today making pies. Lamb, onion and rosemary pies. Wild boar and Guinness pies. Beef and Guinness pies.

 

I also tried to make a boysenberry chocolate mousse, but the boysenberry came from some Old Mout cider reduced on the stove for a while. I suspect I let it reduce too much, did not use enough to start with (only had half a bottle remaining from last night), and probably should not have mixed it in directly with the ~115c sugar syrup I had bubbling away to form my pate a bombe tho' I'm not sure how much flavour it really lost. Anyway, in the chocolate bombe I could taste chocolate with a hint of boysenberry, but when I added the cream I lost the berry flavour entirely. Because no-one else in town sold that cider and it's out of season for fresh berries, I ended up reducing down 3/4 of a bottle of Rekorderlig's mixed berry cider. Blah.

 

While waiting for the bombe to whisk and for the chocolate to melt and for the cider to reduce, I ended up cutting out little strips of shortcrust pastry, perhaps 4cm long, and curling them up so that the little pastry pig cut-outs (to make it easier to know which pie is which) had curly tails when baked off, rather than flat ones.

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Various things

 

-- slow-roasted (in the 12 hour sense) beef shin. Was kicking around ideas for what to serve it with and figured, hey, normal times and all, shin is sliced and sold as 'osso bucco' ... so the logical pairing would be some risotto a la Milanese. And, oh, there's the tomato component ... so I'm slow roasting some cherry tomatoes, too.

 

-- bread bread bread and bread bread bread. Have to take some bread to work on Wednesday, so I'm making the dough now and letting it mature. I find that dough made and then baked straight away is a bit boring (we're talking about a standard no-knead white bread dough here), but when it's sat for the best part of a week it's pretty fucking good. Am producing four loaves/batches of rolls: a plain white (altho' I'm sorely tempted to jack this with, say, cheese and bacon), a smoked bread (a misnomer: you don't cook it in a smoker but instead smoke a portion of the flour--I'm hitting about ~1/3 of the flour with mesquite smoke), an olive bread and a rye bread. Wanted to make a nice gluten-free one, actually, using the Reinhart recipe, but turns out soy flour and physilwhatever husk are pretty fucking expensive. Sure, I'd have boat loads of those ingredients left over, but I can't find imagine using them all that often (they'd expire before I probably even opened the packet again) and didn't really want to spend a total of $25 on baking a single small loaf of bread.

 

-- will, maybe later or possibly early tomorrow, get started on the Momofuku pork buns

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Yesterday, I was meant to make some yo-yos (the biscuits, aka melting moments in some places). Keeping in line with my recent decision to make ANZACs in a muffin pan for consistency reasons, I did something similar with the yoyos. I even went along and made sure they were all the same rough weight, within 10% of 65g. It didn't occur to me until I'd finished them all that maybe I should have gone with smaller portions. The size itself was nice decent, but they were all around 2-3 cm high. And they were only single halves. Woops.

 

Fiddling around with them tonight, I think I might use them for Mother's Day - a little pattycake sized piece of shortbread on a place surrounded by some freshly quartered strawberries, a drizzle of balsamic, a quenelle of thickened cream (tossing up whether to add some vanilla bean and sugar to turn it into creme Chantilly for a slightly fancier touch), and a sprinkling of sugar. Still tossing up whether to use vanilla sugar, or some brown castor sugar. Probably the latter if I go with Chantilly. I'll try plating one the next time I'm in and we have strawberries to see how it looks/tastes.

 

Yesterday I also did up a batch of vanilla creme brulee, and let it steep overnight. This afternoon, when I had the oven free for a few hours, I did up a few ramekins and put them into the oven. A little brown in some spots (I still don't know where that oven's hot spots are and aren't), but they seemed to set fine and in exactly 60 minutes @ 120c, which'll make it a lot easier to plan out in the future.

 

While I was waiting around for the brulees to cook, I ended up baking off 3 fresh choc chip cookies for the cookie jar, and did a double batch of chocolate sauce. What worries me about the chocolate sauce is I seem to make it different every single fucking time, and forget what I previously did because I make it so infrequently. This time it seemed to work well by boiling the sugar and water on the stove, adding some more sugar and cocoa, and then bringing it back up to a simmer. Mix the cornflour and water to remove lumps, add slowly to saucepan and stir it over heat for a while. Except I got distracted with menu changes we're looking at, so when I turned back around it was doing that creepy-as-fuck gloopy boiling that starchy shit does. In the panic to get it off the head and give it a stir or two to try and release some heat, I had a few bubbles burst and spray the stove with chocolate sauce. And me. Ouch. Anyway, I gave it the occasional stir while it cooled to keep it from forming a skin or lumps, strained it, and added in some melted couverture for a bit of richness. I guess I'll find out tomorrow if it sets solid in the fridge, or is able to be used from a bottle without being heated first. At least it tastes ok. And has a deliciously fudge-y mouthfeel.

 

Oh, also did up some more chocolate mousse yesterday. Couldn't be arsed reducing berry cider this week so I just used some raspberry coulis, and a dash or two of the mixed berry juice from the compote bucket. Seems to have set ok, again, tho' I could maybe do with using a little less cream and a few more yolks next time. Will see how it tastes in a day or so; I used dark compound instead of milk couverture this week, so a side-by-side is as good an excuse as I need.

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Green curry, finished preparing it a little while ago, smells amazing, hungry now, but too early for dinner :(

 

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Rabbit's on the menu tomorrow =)

 

Went out last Sunday night and shot five of the little buggers (six actually but one had myxi). Cleaned 'em up the same night and chucked them in the Engel at -20*C to make sure they didn't go off (rabbit doesn't keep well) and just finished defrosting them to fridge temp now. Tonight's job is to finish taking off all the silver skin, joint 3 of them and debone the other 2, then pop them into briny water overnight in the fridge.

 

Tomorrow ... having a bit of a cooking day with the wife, with hunting mates over for dinner. The menu currently sits at:

 

- Rabbit pie on sweet potato and onion mash (entré)

- Rabbit roulade with bacon, parmesan and herbs in a white wine sauce (entré)

- Pan-fried rabbit with mustard sauce (mains - the wife's doing this so don't really know what she's doing exactly)

 

Dessert and vegies yet to be determined by the wife (head chef) but I'll be doing some crusty home-baked bread too. All good fun =)

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Work did a big Heston-style dinner last night, and to do my part, I had the pleasure of cutting up a handful of brioche loaves into 'soldiers', and then frying them in butter, and then caramelising them in maple syrup.

 

I was too tired at that point to clarify the butter. I was lucky that my gambit paid off, and it sort of formed a beurre noisette by the time I had finished all 100-odd strips of bread. I think I maybe went through a kg of butter :\

 

Tasted pretty good, tho'. Sort of like ANZAC biscuits, if you happened to make them with maple syrup.

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This morning, I made lemon-kissed cashew bites for snacking on during the week (ok, during the next couple of days). They're basically a nut-and-date blend mixture that I shape into balls and keep in the fridge. Super-quick to make and handy to have on hand Just In Case :-)

 

I've just popped a lemon loaf in the oven, I've never used this recipe before but it seemed to be working out ok as I worked so fingers crossed. I've also made a lemon glaze to drizzle over it. This, too, will be cut up into bars for snacks.

 

Why the lemon theme? My boyfriend's parents have a lovely bush lemon tree in the backyard, and they brought us some beautiful lemons when they recently visited. And earlier today, the boy made a loaf of wholemeal bread from scratch... and it turned out beautifully! So it's been a productive day in the kitchen, in between the odd bout of household chore and planting some new herbs :-)

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I don't know :-( It's knobbly and looks like the image results when you google "bush lemon" so... bush lemon? Is that a thing? Did I do a non-thing again?

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Today I made fudge. For the first time. All of it, myself, no-one telling me what to do and when, unlike the other day.

 

So annoying, I don't know if I'd ever want to make it at home : \

 

Anyway, it was white chocolate and macadamia, and tomorrow perhaps I will get to try some out, tho' unlikely, there's still a few trays sitting around from the last batch :\

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I'm yet to find a fudge recipe that I'm in love with. There are plenty that I like, including one that's touted as being a "never fail, so easy!" recipe that never seems to yield a fudge for me, and instead, at best, yields a(n albeit lovely) chocolate spread not unlike Nutella. But then again, a lot of the recipes I browse are cheaters recipes. And I'm definitely not in love with the idea of a really unhealthy dessert, so at this point, for me, it's all simply intellectual - I want to find a recipe and make proper fudge, not for me, just once, so that I can say that I've done it :-)

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:)

 

We've been so sick here, some damned virus, that we lived on a rather increasingly hot chili soup for three days - still not over it and meetings this week, oh joy.

 

On the upside I discovered I have a lemon tree - seem to recall they take a while to fruit but heck, been here a decade and more.

 

Either way, once I heal up, plenty of things you can do with lemons :)

 

Cheers

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The fudge seems to have set ok and is s till nicely soft and a little squishy when you give it a poke. Hoping it stays like that and doesn't set as hard as the previous batch (that I didn't make). I'm not sure if the recipe I'm using is a cheat-y one or not, but as well as cream and sugar, it also consists of glucose and invert sugar and fondant. I guess it'd be less cheat-y if I cooked the fondant myself? <.>

 

Today I made chocolate macarons. Or attempted to. Something went wrong, and I can only guess as to what. I heated the sugar too high while I had my back turned, so I took it off the stove for a few minutes to get the egg whites whipping, and when I went back to put the sugar syrup back on the heat, the top had formed a shell that may not have dissolved properly. Or some other reason may have caused about 15% of the sugar to stick to the side of the saucepan rather than pouring into the mixer :\ Anyway, the mix didn't feel smooth enough or light enough, and it looked really grainy when freshly piped, and didn't settle when giving it shaken baby syndrome. The ones I smoothed off by hand with some hot water at least mostly have the right shape, but a lot of them cracked when cooking, and they still have a quite grainy texture :\

 

I was going to make scones, but I couldn't really get my head around when to add the cream and when to add the lemonade, to not fuck up another batch of product, so I put it off until tomorrow.

 

PS, fudge isn't thaaaat unhealthy. Unless you're eating your body weight's worth : p

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Fried rice with chicken and Taiwanese prawns, beef stroganoff and seafood paella.

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So on Saturday when I was concocting my Dutch pea and ham soup I wanted to use two ham hocks and could only use one.

 

So tonight I'm putting on roast ham hock. basically chuck in onions, garlic cloves, taters, thyme, and olive oil and baste the hock in dry cider.

 

This is a bit of an experiment so I'll see how it turns out.

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Was perusing eGullet and stumbled on a recipe for lamb meatballs from a New York steakhouse called Beacon. I don't know anything about Beacon aside from this: their meatballs are very good.

 

The mixture: 1.5 kg lamb mince (reasonably fatty), 1/2 cup finely diced onion, 4-5 cloves of garlic (minced), 1 tsp ground cumin, 2 tbs fresh parsley (minced), 1 tbs fresh mint (minced), 1 cup bread crumbs, 1 cup (strain it first) Greek-style yoghurt and 1/2 cup pecorino. The meatballs are then aged and cooked in tomato juice.

 

Also, a Mai-Tai. 2 oz Appleton 12, .75 oz lime juice, .5 oz 2:1 syrup, .5 oz curacao and .25 oz orgeat.

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