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What's for dinner #336 -- The Thanksgiving 2014 Edition!

Last night was another day of Sunday's 1.5 quarts of grilled chicken and smoked sausage etouffee'.

Sides of rice, steamed brocolli and garlic bread.

On Sunday , the etouffee was as hot as Satan's butt, but by yesterday, things equalized.

2 quarts of Sunday Gravy aka red pasta sauce with meatballs, hot sausage and pork chops is on the stove now for the weekend and a break from gobble gobble.

Since I am not hosting TG 2morrow, I;ve got to finish up the cream cheese based app. and a small full dressing pyrex dish that will be baked in the morning.

I love high brow food, but low brow T&T comfort food for Thanks Givng is what I live for. One day a year plus one to two days after for leftovers , and then dunzo for 364 days.

Can a pizza stone left on the bottom rack of your oven, mess up cooking times ?

I keep my pizza stone on the bottom rack when using the oven 99% of the time.

For cookies, browines and pies, the stone acts as a heat sink and holds the oven temp solid. Especially for cookies where multiple door openings are necessary for many batches.

For cheese cakes I remove due to water bath, and for cakes I remove just to negate the "it might" cause a problem.

For savory cooking/oven use, never a problem here.

The stone just sits there looking mean at me every time I preheat the oven when not used for pizzas/calzones. .LOLZ

The stone does add to heat up time, so I do remove it for quick heat stuff or use the toaster oven.
As long as you don't thermal-shock it when heating or cooling, "(Honey Badger) Pizza Stone" don't care.

But true.

1 day ago
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

Football during Thanksgiving dinner - am I a snob?

Our Thankgiving dinner is served in the dining room with no TV.
Never has been.
I have left the TV on in another room but it is never watched unless glanced at during guests getting seconds.

If the hosting family is a big fan of one of the teams playing, I;ve seen the dinner pushed up earlier or later to accomodate viewing before or after the mael, but no dinner in front of the TV for me.

T'Giving is family time at the table, NFL be damned.

You CAN give him a plate to take to the TV room. That seems like "self Banishment" in it's own amusing right, and if he's really smart, the clue that he will likely not be invited back.

Hey, the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day is full of knives and sharp implements, screaming hot pots and pans and boiling liquids.
Accidents "happen,"... if ya know what I mean.



Nov 25, 2014
jjjrfoodie in Not About Food

What's for dinner #336 -- The Thanksgiving 2014 Edition!

Twice baked porates, hot and fresh cherry turnovers and etoufeee here .

Sunday was a 6am run to get a couple of fresh cherry turnovers from my local donut shop/pâtisserie. Big sugar granules=yum-0.

7am was the last Forumla 1 race of the year and I got bored during the lead up, so I have a friend who claims she cannot do twice baked potatoes correctly, do I did a run of 3 spuds/6 halves during the race to prove her wrong and she picked 4 of the 6 up yesterday afternoon. All baked in the toaster oven and then done two by two during the twice bake.
They rocked.
What's so hard? smadhed potatoes, sour cream, grated cheddar, butter, granulated garlic, salt and pepper, splash of milk and chopped green onions?
I have 10 lbs of russets to go thru, so not a biggie. Gobbble Gobble.

So easy to make but they do make a mess.

I also made a 1.5 Qt. batch of Blackened chicken and smoked sausage etouffee Sunday for what is now a Wednesday GTG to boot.

My fridge is packed and stacked and I wanted to unload it and the freezer before Thursday.

I'm such a dumbass. LOLZ.

Curry'esque recipes?

I'm with mcel and the Thai curry. I keep cans of Maesri curry pastes around and use all the time.

Season your protein and fry in wok with peanut oil and pull.
Then do veggies and pull.

For panag curry I steam my brocolli and serve on the side.

Fry curry paste in a little oil, then add coconut milk, lemon grass, ginger,chiles. chili flakes etc and let cook, then add cooked veggies and meat at the end.

Takes about as long to cook the curry as to make the rice.

So simple and good.

Nov 24, 2014
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #335 - Is Everyone Feeling the Chill? [through Nov. 24, 2014]

There BETTER &^%$# be fried onions on there CM!


GBC, food of the Gods.
At lease once a year they are in my eyes.

I buy a BIG tub of Thai or Vietanamese sourced fried shallots from my local Asian shop for my homeade GBC that is hella cheap and really really oniony.
They work awesome and are really low in salt.

What's for Dinner #335 - Is Everyone Feeling the Chill? [through Nov. 24, 2014]

Broke out the rusty-trusty LW baby gas grill again for Etouffee for tomorrow.

Burgers on deck tonite.

*BTW pic is in homage of our own LindaWhit that cannot own one due to HOA (and George Forenman was taken) LOL

Yes. I care. LOL.

BTW. No photoshop/ Just yellow grease pencil before I paint the BGG this winter. :-)

Can you refreeze Italian gravy with meatballs and pork sausage and pork neck bones


I do it all the time.

I buy or make bulk sauasge all the time. Then freeze the meat.

I pull, thaw and then cook as needed.
Leftovers get refridgerated of course.

If the dish does not get eaten fully in a few days, I refreeze it all.
Tomato based pasta sauce especially.

Thaw and reheat your frozen goodies. Not a problem. LOLZ

All this talk of "danger zone" and double freezing cracks me up.

For SOME foods, freezing is an issue. Same with the re-freezing issues.
But 95% is a Texture issue upon thawing. NOT a food safety issue.

Nov 22, 2014
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving Guests! What are you bringing?

For that hassle, I'd do a tried-n-true standard pumpkin pie for the masses, and a GF hybrid/experiment pie for the SIL.

Unless 75%+ of the crowd is GF. If the GF option fails, you fail for the Gluten Fine masses.

I;m all about accomodating food issues big time, but, especially on Holiday GTG's, making the many succumb to the needs of a few (or the one in my case , once), especially with compromising food quality, means you will not be hosting nor asked to bring food to further GTG's on Holidays.

I've seen it happen first hand.

As the rappers RunDMC once sang, "It's Tricky"..,

Nov 21, 2014
jjjrfoodie in General Topics

What's for Dinner #335 - Is Everyone Feeling the Chill? [through Nov. 24, 2014]


Nov 21, 2014
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

Let's ban the word GUYS!!!

But no problem really is just short jargon for "Not a problem" meaning it would be NOT be a &^%ing problem if I did a task for you.

As in "Can you help me out?"
"Sure , no problem"

Again, it will not be a problem to help you out.

Using "no prioblem" as a replacemnt for "you're welcome" is, as many have stated, ghetto or teenage jargon.

I like to talk to my coworkers in Old Elisabethan English or Shakespearean prose for my replies when asked a qustion.

Incredulous and daft Chowhounders doth amuse me to no end.

See. Works like a charm. LOLZ.

As for being annoyed by those that use the word "guys," I've got WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more things on a daily basis to worry about.
Trying to interact with people that can barely speak English in the first plce tends to do that to you.

How big spiral sliced ham?

I agree.

1/2 lb. per person is going to cover most diners.
1/4 lb. is standard, especially with as many sides as you are making.

Keep in mind spiral sliced ham keeps for some time and freezes awesomly when cut from the bone and portioned and frozen.

There is a trick to reheating those hams, but keep it coverd and mist and baste with the juice runoff and you'll be fine.
Do it every year.

Nov 21, 2014
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #335 - Is Everyone Feeling the Chill? [through Nov. 24, 2014]

Last night I pulled the last tub of pork braciole stuffed with spinach, currants and marsala and served it over farfalle to get my pasta fix. :-)

Tonight will likely be Chinese takeaway, with tomorrow being sauteed onions combined with fresh ground chuck to make burgers and then grilled on the baby gas grill since a warming trend is forcasted tomorrow.

Burgers will be served oven face on a toasted half bun smothered in mushroom gravy. Au Gratin potatoes and steamed brocolli as sides.

I'll likely grill some blackend chicken along side the burgers and add the chicken to the Étouffée I plan to cook on Sunday.

Two day warm up means Grillapooza Time!!!!!!! LOLZ.

Safest way to reheat mashed potatoes?


So my question is about how to properly reheat these things for tomorrow? Lunch isn't until 12pm. I know that potatoes and garlic, both of which are in this recipe, come with a risk of botulism if left out at room temperature too long...how should he re-heat these things in time for lunch?

They come with a risk of WHAT?

They could sit out all night long once cooked after a dinner the night before and they still would be fine the next day for lunch provided they got fridged by noon the next morning. Way to much fear mongering to me here on CH.

Make dish tonite and let cool in the refridge overnight.

Flop in the crock pot in the morning and transport.

Plug crockpot in midmorning and let it come to temp by lunch unles lunch is earlier than noon. Then plug in earlier.

More butter or milk when reheating helps to keep the potatoes moist.
Watch the heat and do not scorch. Easy to do with modern crock pots.

You'll be fine.

Two small, Beef Eye of Round pieces


I'm only suggesting what I;ve seen, not what you should do.

Just that I had eye of the round seared and then rosted as whole roasts and then thin sliced and covered in gravy and onions and not too bad. But not the small cuts you bought. Thus my suggestions.

I;ve also had EOTH cut up and packaged as "stew beef" by my local grocery where the liver tasting issue came into full effect.

I don;t think butterflying and pounding thin what you have should be difficult, but doing a quick very hot sear on both flat sides and then slicing thin may net you qucik and easy good results, but I cannot guarantee that. -)

Nov 20, 2014
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

Two small, Beef Eye of Round pieces

To me, when long cooked, Eye of the round can be livery tasting.

But that is just me.

My parents use to sear than roast EOTR in the oven to medium rare and it was hit or miss tasty.

If me , and since so little fat, I'd slice each fillet into one inch thick slies long ways,en pound flat with a meat mallet, and do chicken fried steak with them with pan gravy. What you have would lekly yield four servings. :-)
Easy and quick, but not calorie quaint.

If not that, slice paper thin and do bbef stir fry or philly cheese steaks hot and fast.

All flesh and little fat means hot and fast for me.

Nov 20, 2014
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving for one - What would you make?

I profoundly HATE eating out on Thanksgiving as the food quality of the many many places I have dined over the years is beyond subpar to a homecooked dinner.

I have had to do the Single Turkey Day meal for myself a few times.

I've roasttd a small skin on Turkey Breast in the oven or chose to smoke a large chicken on the outdoor smoker.

Sides will always be mashed potatoes and gravy,baked stuffing, a small batch of green bean casserole with French's Onion on top, maybe a small batch of mac and cheese and either butter rosted corn, glazed honey ginger carrots or roasted brussel sprouuts with basalmic vinger as the veg. All of the above sides can be scaled down for small batch cooking.

Cranberry sauce of course.

I;m not a sweet eater so spiked egg nog for after dinner.

Thanksgiving dinner is hard to cook for one due to mass abounts of leftovers, but can be modified to work.

Example above of my smoked chickens fresh out of the R2 unit. :-)

How to cook Premium Japanese Rice with Instant Pot - Electric Pressure Cooker

You lost me on step 3 and 54 rinse time circles and 108...

So, in the end, what water to rice ratio do you use for you"mid range" japanese rices when cooking in the vesel and way you choose to do so?

I "could" do your math , but I;m not sure gleaning from step 2 to the pre cook steps water to rice ratios add up.

Nov 18, 2014
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving side: Not heavy, possibly acidic or citrusy?

Slightly Sweet German red cabbage slaw with or without apples?

Is served warm and can be made ahead.
No meat. No bacon.

I make mine as a side for schnitzle or Hungarian paprikash, but the vinegar is acidic, it's warm, lightly sweet, crunchy and not intrusive as a slaw. Turkey Day should not prove a problem.
And the purple cabbage makes it pretty.

Cheap, Super simple and cooks and holds all day long. Ask any good German restaurant.

So What Dishes do you top with a Runny Poached Egg?

While in the pic I used fried eggs, I also do use poached at timed.

Poached or fried eggs atop crispy pan fried goetta with a dolop of garlic and onion jam on toated bread (or english muffin.)

Others include:

Ramen bowl
Korean spicy sweet potoato noodle bowls
Dolsot Be Bim Bap
Crab cake eggs benedict
Huervo Rancheros

It;s hard to find a bad use of poached egs... :-)

Nov 18, 2014
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #334 - the Veteran's Day Edition [Through November 17, 2014]

Lingua, I've got two 2 Aldi's with 15 miles of my house and anther two within a few minutes drive of my office, so locale is not a problem. The fact they could not define the selling perameters of a product they sel but only sell at special undeterined times at speial undetermined stores made me want to pull my hair out.

But I did pick up some Aldi "only once a year Holiday" goodies that i stockpiled.

Only place I go where BYOB means "Bring your own bags..." LOLZ

I WILL find Aldi peanut puffs though.

Trust me.
I will indeed. MuuuuuHahahahahahahahaha.

Nov 17, 2014
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #334 - the Veteran's Day Edition [Through November 17, 2014]

Last night was the what I thought would be a quick trip to the grocery only to have the "Icy Layer Cake of Wintery Death" , meaning rain and then wintery mix and then ice and then snow, fuss with my short trip home.

Once home, it was the last 8 oz freezer tub of Cincinnati chili that became a 4 way with onions, cheese, Franks Red Hot sauce and oyster crackers for dinner. Yum.

I;ll have to do another batch of Cincy Chili this week or next.

I also stopped by Aldi's looking for Peanut Puffs due to linguas and others fuss only to be snidely told by staff that only certain stores get them and that it is dictated by Aldi Corporate. And they only are available for a short time and no one knows when and where they will be stocked.

So it's pretty much like Top Chef Pop Up restaurant invites and seeing Taylor Swift sing her new album in her living room via personal invite.
But instead Aldi "attitude" extolling devine unobtainability for a, umm, snack food. So sad. :-(

To quote Eric Cartman of "South Park" and Cheesey Poof fame, that's "Hella Lame."


What's for Dinner #334 - the Veteran's Day Edition [Through November 17, 2014]

Soba, thanks for the tutorial.
I am the WFD carb loving ying to our own lingua's no-carb mantra yang so I have to try these out.

Any store bought gnocchi I have had was less than acceptable.

So simple and so easy.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Nov 17, 2014
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

COMMERCIAL COOKWARE -- Which is best for home use?


Unless you do three or four turns of line cooking at your house 6 days a week feeding dozens and dozens of family members each day, they will last a decade +. Easily.

A very good friend and professional chef told me they are more than capable for home use given the price.
It's not a pretty as all-clad or calphalon, etc, but way way capable.

Buy one piece from you local restaurant supply store and give it a try.

Nov 17, 2014
jjjrfoodie in Cookware

What's for Dinner #334 - the Veteran's Day Edition [Through November 17, 2014]

Lingua, that is why I keep either homemade meatball and sauge red pasta sauce or red sauce with homemade braciole in the freezer in 8oz or 16oz tubs all the time.

Quick pull and defrost when past meals are too heavy, fatty or seem redundant.

Last night was inside out maki sushi rolls with the smoked salmon I did thanks to rjbh20, glazed after cooking but before rolling with a quick ginger, soy sauce and sugar glaze reduction, then cream cheese and green onions inside with the salmon (and wasabi of course).
Kewpie mayo and wasabi mix for sqeeze bottle topping and some thrown in a baggie and crushed store bought bagle chips that acted as crunch topping.

Pretty much a NYC bagel and lox with cream cheese inside out roll.

Worekd and tasted awesome. I;ll get picks of the salmon up soon.

On my way to a pre "snowmageddon" store run at end of 1pm nfl games so dinner tonite is unknown.

Dinner for 14...dinner on table or self serve?

We do 12 diners, and food is always plated by each diner in the kitchen via a small assembly line, where food is kept warm for seconds via warming dishes, crock pots or heat lamp.

Make your own plate in the kitchek, extra gravy, cranberry sauce, , salad and dressings and warm dinner rolls are on main dining table or sideboard.

Just not enough room for platters, plates and extras at the table.
Knock over a wine bottle on the table via the turkey platter being passed and it can reall fuck up the evening's mojo.
Especailly if its's red wine and a white table cloth and even nicer off white Karastan rug under teh dining room table. BTDT.

If just 4 or six dining, then serve via small pltters and bowls at the table.
Once over 6 I;ll never do it again.

Nov 16, 2014
jjjrfoodie in General Topics

adobo sauce??

Well, I was at a Mexican market last fall where I picked up a pretty large can of chipotles in Adobe sauce, transferred them over to an old glass with metal lid salsa jar where I have them about half gone in a years use. And they are still perfectly fine, sause and all and transferred and placed in the fridge once the can was opened.

So if transferred to and kept in a good tight lidded glasss jar in a cold fridge, I'd asy a least a year +. :-)
And I suggest glass storage because plastics allow osmosis between the outside air and that inside teh container via the container walls and lid. It's just its nature, which is why 2 liter soda bottles go flat far quicker than cans or glass bottles.

And yes, both the sauce and chiles and sauce combo cans are normally pretty spicey.

Nov 16, 2014
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

What's Cooking While It's Freezing?

19 degrees F here right now.

I'm going to go against the flow and break out the outdoor R2D2 smoker and smoke a big fillet of salmon this afternoon.

I'll likley pick up a couple of rib eye steaks for tomorrow's dinner and cook them on the baby gas grill.

I ain't skeered of no cold. LOL.

Nov 15, 2014
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #334 - the Veteran's Day Edition [Through November 17, 2014]

MC, Raffles is a very elite Hotel in Singapore and is said to be home and creator of the very first "Singapore Sling" cocktail, which I am sure you have heard of.

But, like you, I have never heard of the Raffles salad.

That set up looks AWESOME rjbh20!

ai hope you had a sous chef to assisst you as that looks like a lot of work.

Nov 15, 2014
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #334 - the Veteran's Day Edition [Through November 17, 2014]

That is AWESOME.

I just watched a"Sixteen Candles" on TV the other night by chance.

Now I've got "Heartbreak Heart" on in the kitchen thanks to you and iTunes.
80's Kitchen music prep FTW.

Once my music collection gets into terabytes which is soon, Imma gonna have to have a long talk in the mirror.
And it's gettin' close.

Nov 14, 2014
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking