Today I Made:

Apparently, people like to eat.

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Re: Today I Made:

Postby dubsola » Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:25 am UTC

I always serve it with rice, but I believe my chili thread has proved that there are many different faces to chili.

Regarding the chili from Cincinnati. Apart from serving it with spaghetti, what is the most notable aspect of it?

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Re: Today I Made:

Postby PAstrychef » Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:07 am UTC

It is made with ground beef and cooked with “warm” spices like cinnamon. It is served with various accompaniments, but not cornbread and sour cream, or rice and tortillas or any of the usual suspects. The Chicago Tribune has a nice article about it this week.
I love a nice plate of 5-way, but I do use less cheese than is iconic.
Serious Eats has a nice piece on the different chili styles found across America.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Zohar » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:31 pm UTC

Yesterday I made a sort of Thai-style stir fry. Used spaghetti squash instead of noodles, added tofu, onions, garlic, hot peppers, bell peppers, carrots, and used a dressing made of almond butter, tahini, pomegranate concentrate, fermented beans, sesame oil and soy sauce. Ended up very good, but surprisingly I didn't make a ridiculously large amount - ended up being about 3.5 portions. Very unusual for me.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby dubsola » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:37 am UTC

PAstrychef wrote:It is made with ground beef and cooked with “warm” spices like cinnamon. It is served with various accompaniments, but not cornbread and sour cream, or rice and tortillas or any of the usual suspects. The Chicago Tribune has a nice article about it this week.
I love a nice plate of 5-way, but I do use less cheese than is iconic.
Serious Eats has a nice piece on the different chili styles found across America.

That's some good reading. I want to try to make all the different kinds.

Zohar - love the sound of that. Lots of interesting ingredients.

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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Moo » Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:34 am UTC

Zohar wrote:Yesterday I made a sort of Thai-style stir fry. Used spaghetti squash instead of noodles, added tofu, onions, garlic, hot peppers, bell peppers, carrots, and used a dressing made of almond butter, tahini, pomegranate concentrate, fermented beans, sesame oil and soy sauce. Ended up very good, but surprisingly I didn't make a ridiculously large amount - ended up being about 3.5 portions. Very unusual for me.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Zohar » Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:38 pm UTC

I mean, these flights are not ridiculously expensive...
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby pogrmman » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:34 pm UTC

A balsamic hollandaise to go on top of my eggs. I’d only made hollandaise sauce once before, so it was kind of an experiment. I reduced balsamic vinegar plus some thyme and cayenne, then gently heated and added egg yolk, then emulsified in a whole mess of butter. It came together quite nicely!

I don’t know if those persnickety French cuisine people would call it hollandaise, but it was really, really good. It was a bit sweet, very rich, slightly tangy, with a dash of salt and really nice complex, “dark” flavors. Quite heavy to have on eggs :p

It’d be great to add some extra richness and conplexity to anything that you’d put a balsamic glaze on.

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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Moo » Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:14 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I mean, these flights are not ridiculously expensive...
One day I will take you up on that!
Proverbs 9:7-8 wrote:Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don't bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Sandry » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:59 pm UTC

Made french toast, some soup, and what was asserted by the recipe to be low sugar banana brownies. That recipe is full of lies. They are sub-optimal chocolate-flavored banana bread. I mean, I wasn't actually expecting much to begin with, to be fair, but the recipe was proudly saying the texture was exactly correct. I have never eaten a brownie with texture even *remotely* like this before.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby PAstrychef » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:43 am UTC

Give us the recipe, we can probably fix that for you.
Made beef kofta. Discovered at the bottom of the recipe that it wanted two pounds of beef, not one. Quick, grab an extra pound from the freezer, nuke it a bit and work it in.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Sandry » Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:23 pm UTC

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Re: Today I Made:

Postby PAstrychef » Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:01 pm UTC

First off I would add an extra egg and remove the baking powder. Brownies tend not to have leaveners. These are touted as being low in fat or I would also add some melted unsweetened chocolate. I like one ounce of chocolate per egg. Melt it and beat it into the bananas.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby sardia » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:37 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:Give us the recipe, we can probably fix that for you.
Made beef kofta. Discovered at the bottom of the recipe that it wanted two pounds of beef, not one. Quick, grab an extra pound from the freezer, nuke it a bit and work it in.

Do I have to temper chocolate if I have a freezer? I'm thinking about making chocolate covered things and tempering to get the right crystal seems like Overkill. I can just freeze and eat the chocolate covered pretzels and nuts right?

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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Zohar » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:46 pm UTC

To my knowledge, tempering is supposed to help with the texture and the look of the chocolate. It will freeze well enough, but those things impact your overall experience of the food as well as the actual taste (how quickly the chocolate melts in your mouth, for instance).
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Sandry » Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:13 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:First off I would add an extra egg and remove the baking powder. Brownies tend not to have leaveners. These are touted as being low in fat or I would also add some melted unsweetened chocolate. I like one ounce of chocolate per egg. Melt it and beat it into the bananas.

Thanks! I will probably try something like that, though I need to accumulate some ripe bananas again first. I'm not looking for low in fat, only low in sugar, so I think I'd be quite happy with the unsweetened chocolate. :)
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby PAstrychef » Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:56 pm UTC

Ok, about tempering chocolate. Tempering controls the formation of the crystals in the chocolate, which define the look and texture of the finished product. If you just cool the chocolate, the crystals form unevenly, leading to streaks on the surface and a crumbly texture.
The only really tricky part of tempering is that it happens in a fairly tight temperature range. Otherwise, it’s just melting the chocolate to the right temp, then stirring in some unmelted, tempered chocolate until it’s all just over body temp.
Dark Chocolate: 114 – 118° F (46 – 48° C)
Milk Chocolate: 105 – 113° F (40 – 45° C)
White Chocolate: 100 – 110° F (37 – 43° C) Note: be very careful as the high milk and sugar content in white chocolate will cause it to burn easily.
Chocolate in bars is already tempered. Any good chocolate you buy is likely to be tempered when you buy it. Chop it up, then melt 3/4 of what you want to temper. When it is all melted, stir it to make sure it is smooth. Then add the other 1/4 of the chocolate, a bit at a time, stirring until everything is melted and smooth, and the temp is right.
Dark chocolate should be between 88 – 89° F (31° C)
Milk and white chocolates should be between 84 – 86° F (29 – 30° C)
If you don’t have a thermometer, go get one! Or, dab a bit of the chocolate inside your lower lip, where it should feel just barely warm. Drop about 1T chocolate on a small plate and let it sit for a few minutes. It should be glossy and have a nice snap when you try to break it.
All of this should take under half an hour.
If you just want to scarf it down for a snack, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 15 second bursts, until it’s just melted. This should leave it in temper enough to dip whatever you want, but it won’t look as good.
There are loads of good videos out there.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby sardia » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:10 pm UTC

Damn, and here I thought I found a shortcut to chocolate melting.

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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Zohar » Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:14 pm UTC

Made some tomato sauce to freeze because they were getting too ripe. Going to a BBQ this afternoon so bringing a chickpea and roasted pepper salad, and a roasted potato and pickled green onions salad.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Sandry » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:29 pm UTC

Last night I made an attempt at a chickpea salad that'd be a sort of vegan equivalent of tuna salad or chicken salad, with onion, celery, pickle, vegan mayo and mustard in.

The taste totally works and is enjoyable. The texture is problematic. I didn't manage to really mash up the chickpeas, which means trying to make a sandwich out of it involves just having bits of chickpea roll around a lot and escape. I may have had to have fished bits out of my blouse.

Sigh. I think what I may do is try to blend up a bit of it in a hummus-esque fashion, then mix it back in as binding. I would really like to succeed in eating a sandwich of this before the end of the week, rather than halfway eating a sandwich, halfway just rescuing things from everywhere in existence and then giving up and pretending I wanted to eat it as a salad with a side of bread, so I hope round two goes better. :P
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Angua » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:24 pm UTC

I just dump the chickpeas in whole to the salad. Generally with a generous amount of olive oil and balsamic vineger/lime/lemon juice.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Moo » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:29 am UTC

Might I throw pumpkin seeds into the mix for texture? I love me some pumpkin seeds. I especially like the way they absorb a bit of moisture if I mix them into my yogurt the night before - this is the kind of texture I think reminds me of what I like about a good chicken mayo. So either making it ahead of time or pre-soaking them. But I'm just theorizing here.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Sandry » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:16 pm UTC

Interesting! I'd never tried pumpkin seeds in anything with much moisture before, but would happily give that a go at some point.

At the moment, my problem is solved via blending some portion of it and mixing back in solution, which actually I'm pretty happy with. I definitely have some ideas for next time, and I think I like this well enough that I may well actually have a next time, though I like it better as a summer thing than I think other seasons. Part of the advantage to this is ending up with something veggie and sandwichable in a season where a lot of cooking and baking is the enemy.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby pogrmman » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:04 am UTC

I’ve been working on my sauce skills. Tonight was a shallot and basil custard sauce over pasta. It was really tasty — almost like something you’d have in a fancy resturant. It was rich, creamy, with a wonderfully complex (though not too intense) shallot flavor and a hint of basil. It was awesome with a hint of parmesean grated over it.

It was surprisingly easy too. Certainly way easier than something like hollandaise.

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Re: Today I Made:

Postby dubsola » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:18 am UTC

Sounds great! All you need now is a white tablecloth and some candles and it will be like you ARE eating in a fancy restaurant!

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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Decker » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:32 am UTC

Lamb Bhuna
Unfortunately I burned the spices a bit and cooked the sauce down to a paste.
Super tasty tho.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby PAstrychef » Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:31 am UTC

Twice baked butternut squash with bacon-pecan brittle. Also red beans and rice with sausages.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby sardia » Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:15 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:Twice baked butternut squash with bacon-pecan brittle. Also red beans and rice with sausages.

Did you add any other cured meats for flavor? I've made red beans and rice before, and I'm curious if anyone else thinks it's worth it to add specialty meats for flavor boosters. (Lard, smoked ham hock/tasso, pickled pork shoulder/rind). I'm on the fence about it.

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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Moo » Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:45 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:bacon-pecan brittle
Three words I wouldn't have thought to put together but that seem so right.
Last edited by Moo on Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:43 am UTC, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby PAstrychef » Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:48 am UTC

Thai style meatballs in a red curry broth with udon noodles. Just the thing for a cooler, end-of-summer dinner.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Nath » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:49 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
PAstrychef wrote:Twice baked butternut squash with bacon-pecan brittle. Also red beans and rice with sausages.

Did you add any other cured meats for flavor? I've made red beans and rice before, and I'm curious if anyone else thinks it's worth it to add specialty meats for flavor boosters. (Lard, smoked ham hock/tasso, pickled pork shoulder/rind). I'm on the fence about it.

It's definitely worth adding some kind of smoked cured pork product. I've had good results with a ham hock. Haven't tried it at home with tasso or pickled pork, because they're rather hard to come by here.

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Re: Today I Made:

Postby PAstrychef » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:16 am UTC

Nath wrote:
sardia wrote:
PAstrychef wrote:Twice baked butternut squash with bacon-pecan brittle. Also red beans and rice with sausages.

Did you add any other cured meats for flavor? I've made red beans and rice before, and I'm curious if anyone else thinks it's worth it to add specialty meats for flavor boosters. (Lard, smoked ham hock/tasso, pickled pork shoulder/rind). I'm on the fence about it.

It's definitely worth adding some kind of smoked cured pork product. I've had good results with a ham hock. Haven't tried it at home with tasso or pickled pork, because they're rather hard to come by here.

This batch had some bacon cooked in with the beans.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Sandry » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:29 pm UTC

I was willing to turn on the oven in my house for the first time in ages! :D :D :D

So I made both mac and cheese (with tons of spinach in) and a rice and bean casserole dish I call "rice squalor" because I have a bad sense of humor. (I'm asserting it's dirtier than dirty rice.)
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby PAstrychef » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:07 am UTC

Was going to make tahcheen, a Persian baked rice dish filled with eggplant and mushrooms, but didn’t want to wait for it to bake, so I just made the filling and some lentils and we ate it like that.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby freezeblade » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:10 pm UTC

(well, the other day I made:)Braised Korean style shortribs with daikon radish and carrot

Have since used the meat for two other meals: Korean spiced ramen, korean bbq burritos.

There's a few food places out here that do the Korean/Mexican fusion, and it really works well; the burrito had sushi rice, shredded rib meat, reduced brasing liquid, and a slaw of cabbage, carrot, and cilantro.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Moo » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:23 pm UTC

Haven't had much time for cooking lately but invited my folks for lunch today, it was nice to make a whole proper meal. Smoked pork neck "roast" in the slow cooker, roast potatoes, rice with gravy (reduced and thickened stock from the slow cooker), broccoli and cauliflower in honey mustard sauce, and baby carrots.

For dessert I used the opportunity to try a mirror glaze cake, to see if the idea I have for my son's birthday cake is viable. Made a vanilla sponge, sandwiched together with strawberry jam, and iced with a strawberry buttercream (just added some pulped strawberries to the usual recipe). It was good, but freezing the cake so the glaze will set, made the sponge disappointingly stale for a cake I had baked only hours before.
Made a glaze with white chocolate, water and sugar, left out the gelatin from the usual recipe (by accident at first, but then out of curiosity as it seemed to be working just as well). Coloured it red and made some black webbing in it. Very happy with how it turned out, so I am fairly confident that I'll be able to pull off a passable "Spiderman vs Venom" cake for his birthday. The seven layers he has requested for his seventh birthday is far more daunting...
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby PAstrychef » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:12 pm UTC

One trick is to bake the cake in sheets and use the cake pan to cut out rounds that are all the same size. For seven layers they can be thin and the cake will still be impressive.
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Moo » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:00 am UTC

Thank you, I love that idea; it seems to me it would also stop it from doming and having to cut so much off. I have had some luck with wet towel strips around the pans but this sounds much simpler.

Any advice on not having the cake taste stale if I have to freeze the iced cake to set the glaze? I used sponge, would pound cake or something more cookie-like (like this or this) work better?
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Zohar » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:58 pm UTC

Made a bunch of stuff, let's see... Saturday I made really nice pasta with a "raw" sauce - I fried an onion and a pepper from our garden in oil, but used a lot of tomatoes and basil from our garden fresh. Sunday I made a vegetable pot pie and a chocolate cake. Chocolate cake turned out OK, but I didn't like the frosting I used (buttercream). I should go for a chocolate glaze in the future. And the cake just isn't that great... Like, it's fine, but I don't feel like it's particularly good - not super moist, doesn't feel very rich.

Edit: Oh I also made a Dutch Baby on Saturday that was delicious!
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby PAstrychef » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:42 am UTC

Moo wrote:Thank you, I love that idea; it seems to me it would also stop it from doming and having to cut so much off. I have had some luck with wet towel strips around the pans but this sounds much simpler.

Any advice on not having the cake taste stale if I have to freeze the iced cake to set the glaze? I used sponge, would pound cake or something more cookie-like (like this or this) work better?

We brush the layers with simple syrup before filling and frosting the cake. I do it even if the cake is fresh. The syrup can be flavored to match the filling. I like to add a splash of liqueur, but coffee or fruit juice will work. Simple syrup is equal amounts by volume of water and sugar, brought to a boil and cooled. It keeps forever in the fridge and is great in chilled drinks.
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Zohar
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Re: Today I Made:

Postby Zohar » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:05 pm UTC

Yesterday I made a semi-fancy breakfast. Toasted bread (from Alex's homemade sourdough), fried spinach and onions, sliced roasted beets, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and some home fries. Turned out great, except the hollandaise split :( Still tasted good, just not very creamy.
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