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I find myself posting on TCCOA about non MN12 threads. I know some of you are still going to work but since we all come from different walks of life, I thought some of you might find a thread to share recipes of stuff you like and we can learn from each other. Most of you folks are mechanically inclined and IMO, cooking is just another technical project: You assemble materials, follow instructions, sometimes use a few gadgets to make your life easier, and done. I don't like recipes which are too fussy or require constant monitoring. If desired, I can post some instapot (more IMO are **** because they amount to little more than open a can of soup and pour on top of a frozen piece of meat) or more ethnic recipes later if desired (we do cook a lot of asian food).

I'll start with two celebrity chef dishes; I'm always skeptical about celeb chefs but both dishes are legitimately delicious and the resutls of cooking at home taste quite similar to what you can get at the restaurants. Both chefs have restaurants in Vegas which I have to visit for CES every year and take clients out. They are also probably the only two restaurants i'd spend my OWN money at vs using an expense acct.

Momofuku's Bo Saam (Roasted Pork Shoulder)
  • David Chang from 'The Mind of a Chef' made this recipe based on his korean
  • The accompanying ginger scallion sauce is fantastic on noodles or rice even without the roast pork. Even if it sounds like a ton of ginger, try it.
  • At the grocery store, you can buy a whole pork shoulder/butt (9-10LB) but ask them to cut it into two pieces since you are buying both. Make one 4-5LB chunk and freeze the second.
  • Special ingredients: Gochujang and Ssamgjang are two korean specific sauces you can find in asian markets, online, or made with more easily sourced ingredients (like miso, korean red pepper flakes, etc).
  • Useful Tool(s): I like making this in a dutch oven. Mincing up the ginger for the g/s sauce can easily be done with a mini-chopper if you don't want to do it by hand.
Craftsteak's Braised Beef Ribs
  • This one is from Tom Colicchio (who was one of the judges on Top Chef).
  • Special Ingredients: fresh tarragon and thyme (I've omitted the tarragon before and it's ok). Both can be found at your grocery store but thyme in particular is super easy to grow even if you don't use it all the time.
  • Useful Tool: dutch oven again
 

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Good idea. We bought an instapot last year and have only used it once. I'd really like to spend some time learning to use the thing. But, shelter in place!? Pfft ... LOL, hell, I haven't been home since February, 13. That's right I flew out on Valentines day! :cry: I'm also going to miss our 20th anniversary which is in a few weeks. :cry:

Such is the life of a critical infrastructure essential service provider.
 

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Yeah, my cousin's husband does the same thing you do. Gone for months, home for a while. Wash, rinse, repeat...

I've taken to making a recipe found by my in-laws' neighbors over 10 years ago. Supposedly he wrote it down while watching a cooking show, but I haven't been able to find the original source. We're not sure if he modified it either.

We call it "Turkey Rick", after him.

1 pound thinly sliced turkey breast (about ¼" slices)
¼ pound sliced mushrooms
8 ounces sour cream
¼ tablespoon plus ¼ tablespoon dried tarragon leaves
4 ounces dry Vermouth
2 ounces butter
White pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large frying pan until almost smoking. Sauté the turkey quickly in the melted butter; add the first ¼ tablespoon of tarragon when almost finished. Turkey should be browned.

Remove the turkey to a plate and sauté the mushrooms until golden. Remove the mushrooms to the plate with the turkey and remove the pan from the heat.

When the pan has cooled a little, return it to the burner and add the vermouth to the pan and scrape the browned material to dissolve. Reduce the vermouth by at least half, stirring and scraping constantly until it is dark brown.

Add sour cream and stir until mixed well with the vermouth mixture. Add the second ¼ tablespoon of tarragon.

When the vermouth-sour cream mixture is bubbling hot, add the cooked turkey and mushrooms and stir until well coated. Add pepper to taste.

Serve over pasta or rice. Spoon the remaining sauce over.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, my cousin's husband does the same thing you do. Gone for months, home for a while. Wash, rinse, repeat...

I've taken to making a recipe found by my in-laws' neighbors over 10 years ago. Supposedly he wrote it down while watching a cooking show, but I haven't been able to find the original source. We're not sure if he modified it either.

We call it "Turkey Rick", after him.

1 pound thinly sliced turkey breast (about ¼" slices)
¼ pound sliced mushrooms
8 ounces sour cream
¼ tablespoon plus ¼ tablespoon dried tarragon leaves
4 ounces dry Vermouth
2 ounces butter
White pepper to taste


Melt the butter in a large frying pan until almost smoking. Sauté the turkey quickly in the melted butter; add the first ¼ tablespoon of tarragon when almost finished. Turkey should be browned.

Remove the turkey to a plate and sauté the mushrooms until golden. Remove the mushrooms to the plate with the turkey and remove the pan from the heat.

When the pan has cooled a little, return it to the burner and add the vermouth to the pan and scrape the browned material to dissolve. Reduce the vermouth by at least half, stirring and scraping constantly until it is dark brown.

Add sour cream and stir until mixed well with the vermouth mixture. Add the second ¼ tablespoon of tarragon.

When the vermouth-sour cream mixture is bubbling hot, add the cooked turkey and mushrooms and stir until well coated. Add pepper to taste.

Serve over pasta or rice. Spoon the remaining sauce over.
Interesting: I can see how the vermouth cream sauce would be good with mushrooms and poultry.
By sliced turkey breast, do you mean a) raw turkey breast, b) cooked turkey breast (aka Thanksgiving/Xmas leftovers), or c) sandwich meat?
 

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I'm seeing 1/4" slices being cooked in butter, so raw turkey or 1/4" deli slices. :)

This sounds awesome!
 

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We usually get the turkey breast cutlets from Butterball at one of the local Wal-marts, so raw before cooking in this recipe. They're about 3/4" thick, so I usually slice them in half before cooking. Much more tender that way. We also find that it pairs well with whites (though since we don't drink, it's a de-alcoholed variety - we usually get a Moscato). :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I like kitchen gadgets but I'm also pretty frugal; I typically wait until my gadget hound friend buys (whatever), tests it out, and if he's still using it 6 months later, I'll consider it.


My instapot feedback
  • An instapot will make rice but a dedicated rice cooker will make better (fluffier) rice. I suppose you can experiment to find the right amount of water to make rice well but after trying it once, I went back to my tried and true Zojirushi.
  • You can make quality homemade yogurt with nothing more than whole milk and a starter (either specific yogurt starter OR a spoon of store bought plain yogurt) and it will be totally cheap but beware: 1 gallon of milk will yield nearly a gallon of yogurt even after you strain it to make greek style. That's enough to bath in it.
  • I went through a ton of instapot specific cookbooks and my conclusion is that MOST recipes are geared towards the specific market instapot initially targeted: lazy people. They simply aren't very good.
  • It's good for making dry beans. I know my indian friends use it as well but my home made indian still sucks (edible, but not nearly as complex flavored as what a restaurant makes).
My Favorite Recipes

Broth

  • Save up bones up in the freezer or buy some chicken bones for dirt cheap at the grocery store.
  • Every so often, take them out, throw them in the pot, add maybe an onion if you are feelin' fancy, and cook on high pressure for 35min-1hr.
  • The result will be the equivalent of stewing the bones on your stove for 4-6hrs: fantastically rich broth. If you really want to get fancy, roast the bones in the oven for 20-30 min first.
Zucchini Sausage Bolognese
  • This recipe shocked me at how flavorful it was with so very few ingredients.
  • I also learned how easy it is to make italian sausage from fresh pork. My wife found she had issues with refined sugar so most store bought (and even store made) sausages would cause GI issues. However, after realizing you can do it with just some spices bought in the bulk section (Italian seasoning - I get mine from Sprouts, dried parsley, pepper and salt), I'll never buy sausages unless I'm specifically roasting them on a campfire or bbq.
  • This meal is quick enough to be a weeknight dinner
  • Good with real noodles, zucchini noodles (zoodles), or even rice. You can make the loose sausage in advance and cook it when you get home for a weeknight meal.
  • Special Ingredients: fish sauce (you won't taste it but adds a ton of umami. Get the stuff that looks like soy sauce vs the grey vietnamese paste like stuff) and dried powdered mushroom (cheapest way is to buy dried shitake and run them through a spice grinder/chopper/coffee grinder until its a powder).
  • Special Tools: Instapot.

Instapot Kabocha and Ginger Pork
  • A great, hearty stew with Kabocha squash (Japanese squash you've probably eaten as tempura).
  • Flavorful and something different if you are tired of the typical Beef, carrots, potato, and onion stew.
  • You want a fattier chunk of Pork than loin or leg. Shoulder or Boston butt is ideal.
  • Special Ingredients: Kabocha squash. I've made it with Acorn and delicata squash before.

Instapot Sunday Gravy
  • Sunday Gravy is apparently what old italian moms would call a dish they made with fresh meats and would simmer all day
  • Apparently, stewing tomatoes and sauce lets it undergo malliard reactions (the same reaction that makes browning food like steaks and cheese so yummy - see An Introduction to the Maillard Reaction: The Science of Browning, Aroma, and Flavor)
  • Basic gist is you can use fresh or canned tomatoes but the key is a mix of meats: stew beef, a few ribs (pork or beef), and sausage (fresh or even store bought).
  • Stupid easy recipe that I've even made for lunch at the office (chop a few things when I arrive in the morning, toss it in the instapot, work for a few hours, and then boil some noodles right before lunchtime for a family style meal at the office).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
At 5 years old, my son is kind of picky about food like most kids. One protein we can actually get him to eat reliably are the salt and pepper pork chops from the neighborhood chinese restaurant.

Since this restaurant as closed during this lockdown, I've worked on a salt a pepper porkchop recipe at home.
Two Recipes I tried.

First attempt was with the air fryer. Flavor was good but the texture needed work (needed a crispier coating.
Second attempt was with panko as the coating and pan frying instead and the results are much better than with the air fryer/convection oven. Downside was that it was much messier.

Some optimizations I made:
  • You definitely need garlic with the jalepenos and scallions. That's how our local restaurant makes it. 1 head garlic, 2 jalepenos, and 2 green scallions for 4 pork chops
  • I sliced the chops diagonally (like if you were prepping for a stir fry) to increase overall surface area and make thin pieces. Recipe #2 doesn't mention this.
  • For the coating, I went with panko and did he following: corn/potato starch/flour coating, then egg wash (used both whites and yolks -- 2 eggs for 4 porkchops), and then panko. Panko is much crispier. Neither recipe makes this suggestion.
  • Frying was done in a small cast iron pan so I didn't have to use much oil. It was more like pan frying than deep frying as the oil level never went above the porkchop. I would have preferred to do it outside but I didn't want to setup my external burner and use a lot more oil.
  • I added more black pepper than recipe #2 calls for during the stir fry of the veggies phase. More like 1/2t to 1t of black pepper and 1t of salt. I also tossed a little salt and pepper into the flour and the egg even though I didn't marinate the meat.
Future Ideas:
- the pork chop pieces came out nice and crispy but during the tossing phase, they lost a little crunch. For my next attempt, I may just make the jalapeno/garlic/salt/pepper "relish" separate from the pork chops and just add it on the plate/service. FWIW, the Jalepenos mellow out quite a bit during the frying. It also doesn't hurt if you remove the seeds during the prep process (that's where all the heat is).

- Lazy idea: the jalepeno relish is quite good by itself -- unlike the frying phase, it's quick to make and doesn't generate a mess. We have some frozen chicken nuggets for our son. The next time we make him some nuggets in the oven/air fryer, I'm going to whip up a batch of the relish to toss with the nuggets.

Total Time: including prep/frying, this is a longer meal to cook (perhaps 60-90 minutes from start to serving). If you go the chicken nugget route, the relish itself takes <15 min from prep to cooking and then you just have the nugget cooking time.



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