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Your most used fish cookbook?

Thanks for the suggestions, all - looking forward to all the tasty fish!

Jun 22, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking

Your most used fish cookbook?

Love cookbooks! Much more than the interwebs. Check them out sometime!

Jun 22, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking
1

Please help me like chicken breast!

But it's healthy and easy to prep! This is also the reason I buy pork tenderloin instead of pork belly or shoulder (which are much tastier), although those are easy to prep because I don't eat them thinking I'm being healthy so leave the fat on.

Jun 19, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking

Please help me like chicken breast!

I think it's because I know if I leave the fat on, my husband will eat it all (if it melts, he insists on taking the fat and putting it back on or adding it to the starch), and I'm looking out for his health (plus I don't think my toddler needs chicken fat either). And because I'm such a perfectionist, once I get going, I really can't stop myself. It's a disease.

Jun 19, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking

Your most used fish cookbook?

Wow, that is quite the endorsement! It is now in my Amazon cart, thanks!

Jun 19, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking

Please help me like chicken breast!

I didn't know Kenji thinks 150F is OK! Maybe that's my problem... always cooking to 160F because I'm worried about food safety.

Any dry brines you recommend in particular?

Jun 19, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking

Please help me like chicken breast!

These sound tasty and fairly simple... thanks!

Jun 19, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking

Please help me like chicken breast!

Mmm I do love chicken marsala but hesitate with the wine b/c I have a toddler. I'll have to try making the piccata!

Jun 19, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking

Please help me like chicken breast!

It's a good idea... my sous vide machine was bought years ago, and it's a monstrosity to lug around. Maybe I'll set it up in the basement permanently so I actually use it again.

I worry about sous vide with chicken and getting it to temp over a slow period without any ill effects, though...

Jun 19, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking

Please help me like chicken breast!

What temp and how long?

Jun 19, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking

Please help me like chicken breast!

What temp do you bake?

Jun 19, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking

Please help me like chicken breast!

It's been awhile since I've bought BSCB, but I do still trim those. I think there is much more fat in the thighs, though, and more hidden and harder to remove.

Where are you guys buying your chicken that is so much better prepped than mine??

Jun 19, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking
1

Your most used fish cookbook?

Recently I've been on a mission to cook different proteins than normal and realized I rarely buy fish, which is a shame because it's healthy and tasty!

My current repertoire for fish is limited - pretty much S&P/lemon, some rub, or steamed Chinese style. I know little about differences in various fishes and usually just buy something that's not too expensive.

Looking for a good fish cookbook (other seafood welcome as well!) that will guide me through different types of fish, how to buy, and good recipes for them. Learning things like wild caught Alaskan salmon is better for you than farm-raised, or swordfish is endangered, or a cheaper but good substitute for haibut/chilean sea bass would be useful to me.

Basically my goal is to introduce fish into my family's dinner rotation at least once a week with varying but relatively simple recipes without breaking the bank. Not wanting to focus on sushi (not toddler-friendly).

I saw a post a few years back about Rick Moonen's fish book, and I see there is one by Mark Bittman. Any thoughts on these or any others?

Jun 19, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking

Please help me like chicken breast!

Good point... One could wrap anything in prosciutto and it'd taste better!

Jun 18, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking

Please help me like chicken breast!

I think boneless thighs are a lot of work! So much hidden fat and connective tissue to remove. Takes me forever. Doesn't help that I'm a perfectionist...

Jun 18, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking

Please help me like chicken breast!

I never buy or order chicken breasts. I grew up eating dark meat and prefer the flavor and juiciness of it.

However, I'm now a mother and lacking time and patience. And chicken breasts, especially boneless and skinless, just seem so easy. I feel like I can't be bothered with trimming thighs anymore. Not to mention I'm quite slow at it.

Any recipes or suggestions for chicken breasts? Maybe suggestions on the chicken itself? I can go to a farmer's market if I have time, but if any stores like a Whole Foods has particularly tasty breasts, I'd like to know. Are frozen breasts any good?

My biggest beef with chicken breast (uhh... is that confusing?) is that I often find it dry, either when I'm making it or sometimes when dining out, too. Second issue is I feel like there is more work needed to make it tasty.... Unlike beef which just needs S&P for me.

Any suggestions?

Jun 18, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #370 The Grass is Green Edition! [through June 21, 2015]

Used up leftover ground lamb, celery, and cilantro by making a cumin spiced lamb and celery stir fry. Really tasty for how easy it was! Hardest part was washing the cilantro... I hate washing small leafed greenery.

Help me find the chorizo I want!

YES the cantampalitos look right! I've had the smaller cocktail chorizos that seem drier and darker, but googling cantampalitos shows me the bright red ones I think I've had. I think I've also had and enjoyed the chistorra, although definitely in small pieces and not Slim Jim length.

Jun 10, 2015
jen223 in General Topics

CSA members: What are you doing with your veggies??

Interesting! It's blended?? Does it end up tasting like lettuce or more like all the other ingredients?

Jun 10, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking

Do you really need to *cook* frozen vegetables before using?

I get nervous about the "food safety" warning to cook to 160F, hence the nuking. I figure she'll be OK with less nutrients but not so OK if she gets sick from some foodborne illness. I do throw in some cooking water to steam and ensure the veggies are soft enough for her to gum, but maybe I should lessen both the water volume and microwave time.

First time, type A mom here... impressed by sparrowgrass for giving toddlers veggies direct from freezer for teething!

Jun 10, 2015
jen223 in General Topics

Help me find the chorizo I want!

Pretty sure... I know I had this type of Chorizo in Madrid, Barcelona, and even bought a package at the grocery store in Mallorca to cook in one of the most delicious pasta dishes I've ever made. I hate that I can't remember the package, although I think it was from a brand that made a # of other food items, and I think it may be have been in a refrigerated section.

Jun 10, 2015
jen223 in General Topics

CSA members: What are you doing with your veggies??

We've been getting a TON of lettuce! I can't bear to make another salad - any ideas on what to do with various types of lettuce?

Scallions - beef and scallion stir-fry

Chard - sauteed with lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and garlic

Lettuce - too many salads

Hakurei turnips - stir-fried with fish sauce, stirring the greens in at the end

Green garlic - I throw some into practically anything else I'm cooking

Strawberries - plop them into mouth

Jun 10, 2015
jen223 in Home Cooking

Help me find the chorizo I want!

I had some delicious chorizo in Spain, and I can't seem to find the same kind here. I'm not looking for the dry, hard kind, which is delicious as well, but I can easily find this. I don't know if I'm looking for a raw sausage, which I've also bought but haven't been happy with because the flavor and maybe texture have been off.

But I'm looking for those short little links of chorizo that you find as tapas, maybe 1.5-2" long, juicy, flavorful, and oh-so-delicious. They don't need to be short links, but I do want this type of sausage.

I've found that the raw chorizo I've purchased are just lacking in the bold chorizo flavor.

Any thoughts? Thanks!

Jun 10, 2015
jen223 in General Topics

Do you really need to *cook* frozen vegetables before using?

i wonder the same thing. i always have frozen veggies on hand to feed my toddler when i feel she needs more veggies, and after reading the instructions, i now nuke the poor veggies in the microwave to ensure they're "cooked". who knows if i've nuked the nutritional value out of them.

so i don't really have an answer, although i will say that the frozen fruits i buy don't require cooking and will suggest thawing in the refrigerator. i wonder why it's different?

Jun 10, 2015
jen223 in General Topics

Please help with my itinerary w/toddler (Alinea, Goosefoot, etc.)

Thanks! Good call on the GT reservation. I had completely forgot. I do have a reservation for Frontera Grill. I've been there (and enjoyed it), but unless you guys tell me that Topo is much different and worth trying since I've already been to Frontera, I'll stick with it as it sounds less formal (and thus more kid-friendly)

Jun 04, 2015
jen223 in Chicago Area

Please help with my itinerary w/toddler (Alinea, Goosefoot, etc.)

Oh yeah, my daughter needs to nap! I forgot. She's not much of a napper anyway, and hopefully she'll get her one nap in before/after lunch.

Thanks for the feedback... maybe we'll buy the doughnuts as a snack for later! Toddler gets neither doughnuts nor pancakes (OK, maybe a bite)... she'll be stuck with eggs.

Jun 04, 2015
jen223 in Chicago Area

Please help with my itinerary w/toddler (Alinea, Goosefoot, etc.)

Thanks to you both for your very thorough responses! I have to say, I printed them out to study.

When you say that certain places are too noisy, do you mean it's so loud that you have to shout across the table to be heard? Because noisy in general is good for our toddler as she likes to talk and yelp, but if it's so noisy that she couldn't hear us, I think that would be bad.

We've both had Lou Malnati's in the past, although it was certainly tasty, so maybe it's time to introduce our toddler to deep dish. Portillos is a great rec for my husband... is it a place you can just stop by for a snack?

As for Jeni's, I actually had not heard about the shutdown! I just have her cookbook and make a lot of her ice creams at home. I checked, though, and they've supposedly been up and running since Memorial Day. Also, why limit myself? I'll check out Jeni's as well as Black Dog Gelato you both recommend. Ice cream is my favorite food bar none, so you don't have to ask me twice to check out great ice cream shops!

THURSDAY
Dinner: I'm still going to try Girl & the Goat at 4:30pm, if it doesn't work out, Lou Malnati's

FRIDAY
Breakfast: Meli Cafe
Lunch: Frontera Grill/Topolobampo
Snack: Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream
Dinner: somewhere around where are friends are staying (Furious Spoon, Big Star, Lillie Qs)

SATURDAY
Breakfast: Bongo Room
Snack: doughnuts at G&I/Do-Rite/Firecakes
Lunch: late lunch at Purple Pig
Dinner: GT Oyster Bar?

SUNDAY
Breakfast: Jam
Bring onto plane: Tortas Frontera and Garrett's Popcorn at ORD for our flight home

I'm going to see if we can somehow squeeze in Portillo's and Bad Wolf Coffee as well. I'll have a couple hours Thursday afternoon before my husband and daughter arrive. I do love Dominique Ansel's kouign amanns, and it sounds like their pastries are right down my alley.

Let me know if any other thoughts! Thanks for the help as this is super helpful!
Also if you any pointers on what to do as tourists with a toddler, please do share. Crazy how everything is "new" again once you have to think about a child...

Jun 03, 2015
jen223 in Chicago Area

Good restaurant (maybe attached to hotel?) to beat traffic to Baltimore?

thanks!

Good restaurant (maybe attached to hotel?) to beat traffic to Baltimore?

I'll be in DC on Monday and then traveling to Baltimore on Tuesday for a meeting. I know traffic can be a mess in DC but don't know the specifics as I don't usually drive (but will be this time). Any restaurants in particular that you recommend in an area that will make the drive easier the next morning? I'm assuming that wherever these restaurants are, there will be a reasonable hotel (<$300/night) I can book nearby.

As for the restaurant itself, not picky, although not looking for anything formal or pricey. I have a reservation now for Blue Duck Tavern. Any other suggestions? Obviously needs to be a place I get reservations less than a week in advance! Plan to dine around 6pm.

Thanks!

Please help with my itinerary w/toddler (Alinea, Goosefoot, etc.)

Just kidding! Not taking my toddler to Alinea. Want you to read this post and help, though! I'm in a panic because I didn't realize Chicago spots take reservations >1 month in advance (unlike NYC), so I hadn't bothered for my end of June trip, and now it's too late for many.

I will be visiting for a long weekend with my husband and 1-year old, who is better behaved at restaurants than anywhere else. She does great dining at Babbo, Buddakan, etc. She doesn't cry, but she does like to say "yum yum yum" as she chews (why did I teach her that??), so small/quiet restaurants may not be the best. Highchair required.

To accommodate her bedtime, we plan on 12pm lunches and 5/5:30pm dinners. Potentially breakfast around 8/9am and snacks in the afternoon.

Many of the places I've researched don't offer reservations, so suggestions on the best spots and times to walk in with a toddler are appreciated (or should we not bother?).

THURSDAY
Dinner: do I dare try to walk into Girl & the Goat at 5pm?

FRIDAY
Breakfast: Green City Market?
Lunch: Frontera Grill/Topolobampo (which one is better?)
Snack: Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream
Dinner: made reservation at Publican, but should we try walking in to Avec/Au Cheval/Purple Pig?

SATURDAY
Breakfast: XOCO? Another market?
Lunch: should we try walking in to Avec/Au Cheval/Purple Pig?
Dinner: made reservation at Publican, but should we try walking in to Avec/Au Cheval/Purple Pig?

SUNDAY
Breakfast: any suggestions before our flight back at 12pm? Do-Rite Donuts? Is there good deep dish pizza at the airport?

We will be staying in the River North area and visiting friends who live close to Schwa, so there is something close there we should check out, please let me know. (Not sure our friends will be able to join as they'll have a 2-3 week old baby at that point.)

As for food, we eat it and love it all.... just want the best Chicago has to offer. We've dined extensively in NYC and now in Philly. I love snacking/sweets, husband loves a good beer/drink, and daughter will eat everything we let her off our plates.

Would love your thoughts on the places I've listed but also any other suggestions. Also, should we rent a car or just use Uber/taxis?

Thanks everyone!

May 15, 2015
jen223 in Chicago Area