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What's for Dinner #322 - the pre-Labor Day Weekend Edition [through August 30th, 2014]

Been cooking embarrassingly little this summer. But yesterday I came across a perfectly cylindrical lobster mushroom that checked in at just under half a pound---the thing looked like the fat end of an orange Louisville slugger. That kinda motivated me.

Quartered the mushroom on the longitudinal, into fat wedges, and seared with plenty of butter and minced shallot. Finished with a few glugs of cream, calvados, and plenty of fresh rosemary and tarragon. Served over tournedos of grass-fed beef tenderloin seared rare and a pile of arugula. Good eats.

Is the CCK Small Cleaver still a good deal?

Thanks to you both. I figured if it had a known competitor I'd have read about it from one of you two already. I'll probably still snag it. That price change just moves it from "Why the heck not?" to "Hmmm, I don't really *need* a Chinese cleaver."

Aug 20, 2014
eight_inch_pestle in Cookware

Ideas needed: beets for someone who hates beets

Yum. Will be making that in the very near future.

Ideas needed: beets for someone who hates beets

That's what I was suggesting above. So darn good. Thanks for linking to an actual recipe. Now that I think about it, I believe mine actually comes from one of Bittman's books.

Ideas needed: beets for someone who hates beets

Grated, with minced fresh rosemary and/or other herbs, salt, and a little flour to bind. Press into delicate beet pancakes and saute with a little butter. Gets lots of sweet caramelization. I like to serve them on dressed greens with a little goat cheese as a first course. Delish. You could any spices that sound nice, too.

Is the CCK Small Cleaver still a good deal?

Was thinking about ordering this cleaver based on the strong recommendations from chowhounds over the years. However, I noticed that when it was first recommended as a great deal it was $35 at Chef Knives to Go. By the time I started researching the price was $45, and when I went back to actually order it a few weeks later they were charging $60.

Just wondering, now that the price has nearly doubled, if people still consider it a great deal. $60 still ain't a ton of money for a knife, but maybe there are other cleavers to consider at this new price.


Aug 15, 2014
eight_inch_pestle in Cookware

Meat Grinder Recs?

Just wanted to circle back around and report that I did indeed eventually go with the Tasin TS 108 (purchased from One Stop Jerky Shop). Only took me four years to pull the trigger!

Have only done a few 5-pound batches of loose sausauge (chorizo, spicy Italian, and two batches of a spicy maple-sage breakfast sausage), but am very happy thus far.

Will report back once I give it some heavier duty use, stuff some sausauges, and grind up bones for cat food.

Thanks again for all the great feedback on this topic.


Aug 15, 2014
eight_inch_pestle in Cookware

Rain Shadow Meats - first experience not stellar

Kinda surprised you were disappointed in the case, although can't say we've delved much into their steaks. Always been very happy with their pork (brisket, tenderloin, shoulder, belly, bacon), lamb, poultry, and organ meats.

I've just come to accept aloof service as part of the Seattle food scene. Rain Shadow seems typically hit or miss, depending on the employee and whether he knows your face. I will the say the owner here---Russell, I think---has always been really nice and has thrown in the odd handful of free livers or kidneys.

Good food in Pioneer Square for a group

If you take the C Line from West Seattle and walk from Columbia Street to the stadiums you should be fine so long as you've given yourself a reasonable amount of time.

Fifteen is a lot of folks for most places in Pioneer Square. More upscale options include Delicatus and Bar Sajor. I think the Bar Sajor guy (name escapes me at the moment) also has some sort of wine bar or something directly across Occidental that also serves food and often seems pretty empty.

Dim Sum somehow isn't a Seattle strength, but it seems most people prefer Jade Garden. Think they have beer, not sure about cocktails. A zoo early, but sometimes quiet toward the end of dim sum service (4 pm, I think).

Bourbon and Bones BBQ

Lived in Carolina for a bit, and went here with folks who lived there for years. We all agreed it wasn't on par with great NC BBQ, but was certainly good enough to help cure a jones. Walking distance from Ballard breweries and Ballard/Fremont transit, as well. But yeah, definitely a noisy bar vibe if that's not your thing.

Rain Shadow Meats - first experience not stellar

Fair enough. Happy to agree to disagree.

Rain Shadow Meats - first experience not stellar

I mostly appreciate it as a meat market, but we've very much enjoyed the sandwiches we've had, including the porchetta. Probably worth mentioning that we usually eat there because it's on the way to someplace else. And since we gave up factory-farmed meat we generally drool all over ourselves when we can get slow-cooked meat sandwiches without tending to the oven at home. Two things that might lower our bar.

As to cost, neither Bakeman's nor Paseo, as far as I remember, offers meat from animals that weren't intensively raised. That's certainly a big part of the cost at Rain Shadow.

If the amount of meat was paltry and the sandwich was poorly made, that's a whole other thing. I haven't been for a sandwich in at least six months and have noticed numerous job postings from them lately.

Serious Pie and Biscuits - Serious Questions

We really like the chanterelle pizza at Serious Pie, otherwise it's OK. Decent wood-fired thin crust, but so many places in so many towns have popped up in the last 10 years that I wouldn't really say it stands out from the pack. If we're looking for happy hour before doing something else like Cinerama in Belltown it's on our list. Never a destination, though.

What's for Dinner #311 - the Relax, Kick Back, and Enjoy Summer Edition [through July 11, 2014]

Back in the kitchen for the first time in awhile. Out of town for a week, then came home to a dying cat. Took him in for a limp and a week later we euthanized him with lung cancer so bad he could hardly breathe.

Back in the saddle tonight, made pan-roasted local salmon with fresh bay and young garlic on dressed watercress. A cucumber-dill mousseline and rosemary-cornbread croutons to go with.

Very good, but if I ever take a cooking class it's gonna be about folding in whipped cream or egg whites. Simple, I know, but I've read books, watched youtube videos, everything. Still sometimes don't get the body I should get. We all have our achilles, I guess.

What's for Dinner #306 - The Friday the 13th- Full Moon Edition! [through June 17, 2014]

I wish. (But thanks.)

What's for Dinner #306 - The Friday the 13th- Full Moon Edition! [through June 17, 2014]

Last night was a PNW spring pasta. Pan-roasted salmon on homemade black pepper fettuccine with English shelling peas and walla walla onions. Butter, pasta water, lemon zest, and a glug of heavy cream for the sauce.

What's for Dinner #305 - Hot Fun in the Summertime Edition! (through June 12, 2014)

Oh, I wish!

What's for Dinner #305 - Hot Fun in the Summertime Edition! (through June 12, 2014)

Tonight was an easy-peasy baked egg dish I've been turning to now-and-again lately, with the simple egg-to-milk ratio stolen from the recipe below. We use whatever veggies and cheeses are around---and in wildly varying amounts---then throw in friendly spices and herbs.


Not sure what makes it a gratin, exactly, but it's relatively healthy way (so long as the amount of cheese is reasonable) to quickly get a pile of veggies in us on a weeknight. Also pretty sure it would be sadly overcooked at 35-40 minutes, and there's no way it serves six.

Anyway, tonight was sauteed vidalia and portobello with some roasted walla walla onions and roasted asparagus tips pulled out of the freezer and reheated in the saute pan. Cubes of a couple different very tasty local cheeses, lots of black pepper, some mixed fresh herbs, and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Cut into squares and served with a side of arugula. Not rocket science, but good simple get-it-on-the-table eats.

What's for Dinner #305 - Hot Fun in the Summertime Edition! (through June 12, 2014)

Last night was pizza. Herb- and garlic-infused oil, fatty little bits of braised pork shoulder dug out of the freezer, a dusting of Beecher's Flagship cheese.

Worked a little bit of cornmeal into a super-thin crust. Flavored some oil with a couple smashed garlic cloves and a mix of bay, thyme, rosemary, and chives from the garden. Brushed that over the dough. The pork had been brined in regular cider and braised in hard cider and the melted fat flavored everything nicely.

What's for Dinner #301 - The Memorial Day Edition! [through May 27, 2014]

Pizza and whiskey never requires an apology.

What's for Dinner #301 - The Memorial Day Edition! [through May 27, 2014]

Dag it's hard to keep up with the goodness these days.

Yesterday I scored (slashed the fat, not "illicitly secured") and rubbed a couple duck breasts with freshly ground five-spice powder and a little salt and brown sugar. Smoked the duck today with some vanilla rooibos tea and then seared it until medium-rare. Sliced the meat, then served it up on arugula with grapefruit wedges and roasted skinned hazelnuts in a grapefruit-sesame vinaigrette.

New York Times salted cast iron skillet steak recipe

I haven't looked at the article in a few days, but in fairness I think the authors had a fairly robust Q&A feature with readers that at least partially addressed smoke.

Either way: Yeah, there's no reason to expect that you're going to pan-char any reasonably thick cut of meat and keep it rare or medium-rare without a metric eff-ton of smoke. If smoke in the house is an issue it's definitely not the way to go. We've always found it a small price to pay (and opened some windows and faced fans outward). Once upon a time it was just because we didn't have another option, but now we actually prefer the pan to the grill.

What's for Dinner #300! The Milestone Edition! [through May 22, 2014]

Yeah, was in bed at 2 in the morning when I remembered I wanted to get that meat in a dry rub. Busted out the mortar-and-pestle and rummaged through the cupboard with bleary eyes, just opening jars and smelling.

What's for Dinner #300! The Milestone Edition! [through May 22, 2014]

Tonight was lamb neck-shoulder, braised in spiced port a few days ago after spending the night in a dry rub with cinnamon, cayenne, urfa biber, nutmeg, sweet paprika, allspice, cumin, and green cardamom seeds.

Strained the sauce and reduced with a few glugs of fresh port and most of a head of pureed roasted garlic. Shredded the meat, tossed with sauce, and served on Parmesan polenta with chives. Dressed greens and IPA to go with.

Smokehouse/BBQ joints that sell party-sized sides?

Bourbon and Bones in Fremont might be able to do it.

Seattle visit

If it were only 10. Add a zero or two.

Guy's weekend in Seattle?

Where will you be publishing this Food Lovers' Guide to Link? Definitely interested. (Would also make a great sticky if CH still did stickies.)

Guy's weekend in Seattle?

I will say that three minutes from Westlake to Capitol Hill will be a game-changer for tourist/convention drinking and dining.

Paella Pan: Seasoned or just crusty?

Glad it's taken care of. For future reference, oven cleaner is a less smoky (but also less planet-friendly) way to de-gunk. Took both sticky build-up and rust off a pan a friend messed up while house-sitting. Just get the entire surface well-covered, leave it in the oven overnight, then rinse and dry well. You can then season from scratch on a clean surface.

May 19, 2014
eight_inch_pestle in Cookware

Something new and elegant to do with crab meat?

Couple years ago I made individual crab tarts that went over very well. Just egg yolks, crab meat, and cream that spent some time steeping with vanilla bean, shallot, and bay. Oh, seared scallops sliced thinly and forming both the top and bottom crust.