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What's for Dinner #271 - The Hunkering Down Edition, Part 2 [through January 30, 2014]

I braised the shank end of a lamb leg in a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, with lots of onions, garlic, carrots, herbs de Provence and bay leaves... the added cannelini beans and kalamata olives.. and served it over milk-based polenta with a bunch of romano cheese in it. And it was. so. good.

Jan 28, 2014
Missy in Home Cooking
7

Combination solo/business/couple trip

Hi-are you going to the SMFM meeting? I will be there also... another single lady who loves to eat all things New Orleans.

Jan 21, 2014
Missy in New Orleans

Ootoya?

I would be so happy with somw good sake and a hamachi kama with lemon and crunchy salt. I think I will try it! I'm in town for a meeting and had xiao long bao atShanghai Deluxe Cafe and also spicy ramen at Totto yesterday. Ippudo tonkatsu ramen tomorrow before I leave. Nom nom nom B-)

Jan 10, 2014
Missy in Manhattan

Ootoya?

Hi... I'm on my phone and get a limited view of the board so I can't search.. has anyone got aan opinion on Ootoya near Times Square?? Thanks!

Jan 10, 2014
Missy in Manhattan

Barcelona - Restaurante Olive?

Anyone ever been here? It's in the same group as Paco Meralgo-which I love but is booked heavily next week.

Sep 20, 2013
Missy in Spain/Portugal

Grilled sardines on a Barcelona beach

I love La Boqueria and always drop in there. But I've never had a sardine as good as the one I had along the shore in a small Minorca town... and would love to reproduce it. But I suspect, like most first loves, it was one unique moment in time. Nevertheless, I shall continue the sardine quest.

Sep 11, 2013
Missy in Spain/Portugal

Grilled sardines on a Barcelona beach

oh dear... but maybe a regular restaurant near the beach???
(The sardines are actually the focal point)

Sep 08, 2013
Missy in Spain/Portugal

Grilled sardines on a Barcelona beach

Hi all-I will be in Barcelona at the end of the month and I've been thinking about eating some smoky salty grilled sardines while sticking my feet in the sand. Can this fantasy come true???

Sep 06, 2013
Missy in Spain/Portugal

Anything like Sage left??

I loved Sage and visited every time I came to town. Is there anything like that in the North End these days?

Jul 17, 2013
Missy in Greater Boston Area

Morels

I have about 5 pounds of Morchella esculenta for sale...harvested on the first range of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley - about 30 miles west of Leesburg VA. Anyone interested? I'm down here in DC for a few days at a meeting. I actually brought them in to sell to a restaurant but there was a mixup... no takers at this point.

May 04, 2013
Missy in Washington DC & Baltimore

Ramen best bet?

Hi
I'm a ramen lover and thrilled to see that it's made its way into DC. I'm at the convention center for a meeting-have a care and/or cab money. Does anyone have a favorite? I'm a lover of the thick, milky porky broth... and I always get "extra" of anything they can add!

May 04, 2013
Missy in Washington DC & Baltimore

French A.O.P Butter Sheet for Pastry

Has anyone ever used this for croissants? I've been using Plugra

Jan 18, 2013
Missy in Home Cooking

"Killer Venison Stew"

Hey Cleopatra-here in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Va., my evergreen herbs (the thyme, rosemary and savory) still look great. The sage has lots of leaves that are still soft, and the lavender is still soft as well. The oregano has lots of fuzzy green leaves that usually say on it throughout the winter.
Barley is great. I like it better than potatoes in a stew. If I made this with lamb, I would go with the barely for a traditional flavor, or with canellini beans, kalamata olives, and rosemary, and a can of copped tomatoes for a Med-style thing. Or you could go that way with the venison too.

Nov 20, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking

"Killer Venison Stew"

Haha, that reminds me of the time when I was young, poor, and just barely pregnant with child #3. My hubby came back unexpectedly from his commute one morning with a button buck that someone ahead of him hit. He was driving to work with my brother and they threw it in the back of the truck, showed up at 8 am and said "Hey look. Chop this up."
Being of the Mother Earth News cult at that time (1983), I figured, this cant be much more difficult than butchering chickens (which we also did). Just a lot bigger."
They hung it up from the swingset, skinned it (clumsily), cut out the loin (mangled-ly) and chopped the body up into 4 pieces and dumped them quarters outside the kitchen on the concrete lid of the cistern. Between chasing after a 4 year old and a 2 year old, I managed to get it cut, wrapped and frozen by the end of the day. saved a lot of money on our meat bill that winter! But trust me. Cutting up a deer when you have bad morning sickness and two toddlers is not. fun.
Besides I kept throwing meat/fat scraps to our 2 kinda big dogs and I don't even want to mention what an awful surprise I had on the kitchen floor the next day. Conveniently appearing after hubby went to work, and just at the same time the toddlers were awakening and I was being sick from the baby.
Ah the good ol days.

Nov 20, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking

"Killer Venison Stew"

We sent the rest off to the processor since I didn't have the time (or the guts, frankly) to cut the whole thing up myself. So it will come back as steaks, roasts and burger. Surprisingly there's not THAT much on a little guy like this. He spent his life running back and forth from an apple orchard to a cornfield to a hay pasture-so he was pretty well-fed.. and I'm sure had a wonderful (though only 2 year-long) life.
Oh, Matt (young guy in the pic) is also curing the hide. A process that involves lots of salt and, apparently, turning the concrete front porch into a "Halloween 7" movie set.

Nov 20, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking

"Killer Venison Stew"

I made an a-maz-ing dish last night-from the backstrap of a young buck my son shot.
I used about 2.5 pounds of it-not just the loin part, but the flat muscle underlying it, which has a layer of fat running through it.
I cubed it, dredged in flour, salt pepper, browned well in olive oil-I took my time here since I wanted to start building up a good fond.
Then into the pot went 2 medium chopped onions and 1 pound of carrots, cut into 1-2 inch pieces on the diagonal. Again, well-cooked in the oil, followed by 6 mashed garlic cloves.
At this point I had quite a bit of very dark residue in the pot (my enamel Creuset dutch oven). So I poured in half a bottle of Columbia Crest "Grand Estates" cab and a bouquet from my garden - consisting of a large rosemary spring, the tuft of a sage branch (about 10 medium leaves) five large sprigs on regular thyme and 4 of Greek oregano, and several 2-inch long pluckings of winter savory, as well as a small branch of lavender. I scraped the pot and boiled til reduced by half volume. Then in went a pound of large white mushrooms, quartered, and 1 qt of chicken stock. I brought it all back up to a boil and shoved it in a 350 oven, which after 15 minutes I reduced to 325. This cooked for 2 hours.
At 1.5 hours, I started 1 cup of pearled barley. When it was about 3/4 done (at about 25 minutes, when the grains were starting to soften but still pretty chewy), I drained the water and dumped the barley into the pot. Then back on with the cover, and increased the temperature to 350 for another 30 minutes.
Normally I would be looking to thicken and adjust seasoning at this point, but when this stew came out of the oven and sat, covered, for the time it took me to mix and bake a batch of buttermilk biscuits (15 minutes?) it was perfect. The barley had thickened the broth a bit. The carrots were nice and sweet and the wine added its little touch of zing. All I had to do was take out the bouquet and ladle it out. And it was truly, truly, spectacularly, delicious.

Nov 20, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking

YUMMY CROISSANTS

Very nice! How long did it take you to perfect your croissant? Do you have any tips?
We have learned by trial and error... a combo of European cultured butter and King Arthur all purpose flour plus some time and patience, paid off. Also we use Ralph's suggestion of trimming the folded edges off every turn. I save the trimmings in the freezer and incorporate into the next baking. Check out my post!

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/877762

Nov 16, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking

Use for cranberries that ISN'T sauce

try this cranberry-apple cobbler. It's a frequent visitor at our house during cranberry season, and I always put a couple of bags in the freezer to have it a few more times during the winter. I also add about 2 T of frozen OJ concentrate to the fruit mixture.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Nov 15, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking

Using canned cherry pie filling

I like to use those for a double-layered crisp. Use an 8x8 pan
Make up 1 1/2 times a recipe for an oatmeal crisp. put half of it in the bottom and pat down, prebake at 350 for about 10 minutes. In the meanwhile, open one of the cans and put the filling in a strainer, then rinse off the "filling" part to leave behind the cherries. put these in a bowl with the other can of (whole) filling and add 1/4-1/2 t of almond extract. Taste it and you might want to add some lemon or lime juice as well. Then pour that on the hot prebaked crust and top it with the rest of the crisp mixture, which should be clumped into little nubbins. Then bake it for about 30 min or until it's a deep toasty brown.

Nov 15, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking

The Croissant Chronicles

Perhaps some of you may recall my post last month. Having just returned from a business trip to Rome and Berlin, I was bemoaning the fact that a croissant at the Rome train station was better than any I had ever had in the US. My 16 year old son, who seems to have the "hand" for bread, said ... stop moaning, let's just make some.
Our first efforts resulted in some big, beautiful, puffy, delicious, and feather-light... rolls. We had no problem making them disappear but clearly we needed more practice. Ralph the Chowhound Croissant King advised us about using European style butter, rolling techniques and patience..We changed butters, changed flours, changed resting times, worked on rolling technique.. We ran into a few issues, like butter leaking during proofing, but slowly the croissants morphed from roll-like to croissant-like. Batch 5 was good enough to go to school on the day that Matt's marketing class was supposed to be supplying coffee-break sustenance to the faculty. He was able to take in about 14-some plain, some almond-cream filled, some filled with chocolate - to considerable appreciation.
Batch 6, however, was the magic number. I submit the attached photos as proof.
Along the way, we stumbled on joepastry.com
If you aren't familiar with this blog, you should be. Joe is a great writer, and his website is so full of pastry recipes that you might dive in and never come up for air. All have step-by-step photos to illustrate the technique. We've only made one so far - whoopie pies - and they were so good that Matt's decided to add those to his sales list. Oh did I mention... he's gonna start selling homemade croissants to the kids at school.. Apparently you can't have any financial transactions taking place on school property, so I guess he'll have to hang out just over the line, and his customers will have to seek him out a bit clandestinely. But that should give you some kind of idea about just how good these are.
Below you'll find out first effort... followed by the pictures of Lucky 6.

Nov 15, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking

More croissant....

Chowser, that would be great!

Oct 10, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking

More croissant....

What do you all think about trimming the folded edges each turn, not incorporating them into the dough? Some people think that is key to successful lamination.

Oct 10, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking

More croissant....

We cut the butter into tablespoons, added some flour and used a marble rolling pin and hands to incorporate them, then chilled until it was cold and pliable. I feel pretty sure we had that technique down.

Oct 10, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking

More croissant....

I tend to think it might be the addition of the cake flour-most of the recipes I've seen called for all purpose flour though-and I thought this one, with the balance of bread and cake, might be a good compromise. I'm pretty sure that we had a successful first couple of turns. Anyway, trying again tomorrow. This is similar to the obsession I had last month with the salty oat cookie.
The frangipane, BTW, was mahhvelous. Unfortunately we ate a lot of it with our fingers before it got stuffed into the dough.
I'm going to try bread flour and a a recipe with an initial long cool rise. Also using cake yeast. I'd like to develop the flavor quite a bit more. I don't understand why some receipes call for an inital overnight rise and some proceed from mixing to turning w/o one. That seems like a substantial difference.

Oct 10, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking

More croissant....

I would never fly to Rome just for a croissant. That is why I fly to Paris. ;-)

Oct 10, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking

More croissant....

Yes. you are lucky! I think it's so sad when we can get an awesome croissant in the Termini station in Rome that surpasses by far any that I have had in the US!!!! WHY WHY OH WHY?!?!?!?!?!?

Oct 10, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking

Looking to make a recipe from Andrea Nguyen's book "Asian Dumplings". What is your favorite type of dumpling?

If you succeed you will be my instant best friend. What did you say your address was?

Oct 10, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking

Looking to make a recipe from Andrea Nguyen's book "Asian Dumplings". What is your favorite type of dumpling?

They are on my must-make list but first I need to master croissants!
http://steamykitchen.com/88-xiao-long...

Oct 10, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking

More croissant....

Hi all
Having read all the wonderful advice here, and just returned from a trip to Europe, Matt (my 16yo) and I embarked on a croissant making spree. I used this recipe
http://leitesculinaria.com/78697/reci...
Everything seemed to be going well-the dough was so so easy to work, kitchen cool, big granite countertop workspace, nice chilly fall evening... they rose like nobody's biz... look great.... but inside are like a very very light dinner roll. Not flaky at all. The crust is more like a very light bread crust. Also they do not have a well-developed yeasty flavor.
So I'm all set to buy some Plugra and try again (this was a spur of the moment thing and I used store-brand butter). But is there another recipe out there that anyone particularly likes?

Oct 10, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking

Looking to make a recipe from Andrea Nguyen's book "Asian Dumplings". What is your favorite type of dumpling?

Xiao. Long. Bao. Period. End of story. Best food ever created by Gods or Men.

Oct 10, 2012
Missy in Home Cooking