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Old 02-26-2015, 06:53 AM   #41
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We do eat out a lot. But it's usually at a restaurants that specialize in something I don't care to make at home or can't make any better. We eat a lot of ethnic food out - but only if it's really good. And there is a seafood place that is outstanding. Only the good stuff!
Same here. Spanish, Indian, Lebanese, Japanese...yum.

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What they did in the video is after the steaks reach the desired temp on low/med direct heat (95 degrees as I recall, but check the video) they take them out, turm up the heat and get the grill hot... then they sear them.
Yeah. Problem for me is the time it takes to get the grill hot enough to sear. May be worth a try, but I'll need to get a thermometer.
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:44 AM   #42
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Same here. Spanish, Indian, Lebanese, Japanese...yum.


Yeah. Problem for me is the time it takes to get the grill hot enough to sear. May be worth a try, but I'll need to get a thermometer.
Please consider a Thermapen. This precision tool is totally worth the investment http://thermoworks.com/products/thermapen/

The brown ones are on sale at the moment. http://thermoworks.com/products/ther...ale_brown.html

(No, I don't get a commision)
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:49 AM   #43
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Please consider a Thermapen. This precision tool is totally worth the investment Super-Fast Thermapen® Thermometer from ThermoWorks

The brown ones are on sale at the moment. ThermoWorks - Splash-Proof Thermapen Private Sale

(No, I don't get a commision)
This ? Super-Fast Thermapen® Thermometer from ThermoWorks
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:31 AM   #44
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I learned how to cook when I was a broke teenager living on my own, I've come to enjoy it and prefer it to going out. DW and I only go out to specialty places that can offer something we can't duplicate at home, Asian & Italian mostly.


For beef I love a steak as much as anyone, but for a group of 4 or more I prefer to cook a prime rib. It's just a hunk of ribeye that you season then sear in your oven and let it cook slowly on about 250 til the internal temp is 115 or so. It's going to be red when you slice it - if anyone doesn't like it this way just put their slice in some simmering au jus in a frying pan til it's to their desired color.


BBQ ribs are also a favorite to cook for a group, more ways to cook them than this forum can handle.


Fresh walleye is another favorite, cooked outside on a gas stove in a cast iron skillet.


The best part of cooking at home for me is when I can cook side dishes from the garden. There are restaurants that can cook meat better than I can, but I haven't seen one that can match garden vegetables.


I like to make an event out of a dinner like this, so a bottle of wine, craft beer or nice cocktail such as a martini or manhatten add a lot to it.


A nice dinner like this at home is about the same price per person as a trip to a pizza buffet.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:34 AM   #45
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Please consider a Thermapen. This precision tool is totally worth the investment Super-Fast Thermapen® Thermometer from ThermoWorks

The brown ones are on sale at the moment. ThermoWorks - Splash-Proof Thermapen Private Sale

(No, I don't get a commision)
+1. I never (NEVER, EVER) would have thought that I'd spend $100 on a friggin thermometer. But I did. And it is worth it.
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:56 AM   #46
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Check out a "Sous vide" machine for cooking steak - you'll never cook a steak in a pan.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:16 AM   #47
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Probably should cross-post this in the Amazon thread...

In prep for FIRE later this year, I've been stocking up on various kitchen and cooking utensils: propane smoker, vacuum sealer, pizza stone and peel, a pasta machine, a meat grinder/sausage stuffer, and recently, a deep fryer and 5" spider strainer.

Possibly one more item, a heavy-duty stand mixer, on that list.

I did shed several small appliances, that were mostly worthless, and thus, unused, to make room.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:45 AM   #48
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Yes. The first link - you can choose any color you fancy. They even have some funky special patterned ones (the limited editions).



The second link was just for a better price option if you don't mind a brown one. Maybe their "milk chocolate" brown color isn't selling well. It's a pretty good discount, I haven't seen them cheaper.

The thing is - besides being very fast, the tiny probe tip is super precise. You can measure the temperature at edges and center of whatever you are cooking and make really good decisions about when it is done or even where to move or turn it.

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+1. I never (NEVER, EVER) would have thought that I'd spend $100 on a friggin thermometer. But I did. And it is worth it.
Me neither ($85 to $96 depending). But I never regretted it for one minute. So much less frustrating than the other crappy "instant read" thermometers. I've ended up giving it as gifts to family members because I knew they would never spring for such a thing. And they've really appreciated having it in their kitchen.

more fun with limited edition Thermapens: ThermoWorks - Limited Edition Splash-Proof Thermapen®
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:57 AM   #49
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So many "grill" fans here. I cut down on grill meat quite a bit after my brother was diagnosed with cancer. Eating too much grilled red meat was one of the likely causes of his cancer (the most significant cause by far being smoking).

We eat out 2 - 3 times a week which often lead to eating too much meat & over stuffing ourselves. Once we RE, I expect our frequency of eating out will decrease.
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:00 AM   #50
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Problem for me is the time it takes to get the grill hot enough to sear. May be worth a try, but I'll need to get a thermometer.
Maybe you actually were talking about a thermometer for the grill itself. Yes, you need that too. My grill lid has a built in thermometer, and I use it to tell me how to adjust the grill frame.
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:19 AM   #51
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I know this thread is more about grilling than anything else, but since it's title is about not eating out to eat well, I thought I'd throw in my two cents.

I love Indian food because it is so loaded with vegetables, and Indian recipes tend to make vegetables taste extra yummy. However, many recipes also have a lot of oil and butter and cream. My favorite dish of all time is a vegetable khorma curry from a restaurant that went out of business 4 years ago.

I found a recipe online for chicken khorma curry, and I adjusted it based on wanting to cut the fat and add more veggies. I used more onions, added a bunch of different vegetables instead of just the chicken, used 2 tbsp of light cream instead of 1/2 c of heavy cream, about 1/2 the oil or less. Found out the secret to a thick gravy was to soak cashews in boiling water then grind them in the food processor. So, it has chicken, nuts, carrots, peas, green beans, onions, tomatoes, a splash of cream and some yogurt, a little oil. Boatload of spices, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and chili powder/cayenne pepper. Seems to me to be very healthy, as long as I don't add to the meal too much bread or rice. I've had it twice and skipped the bread entirely. Most Indian recipes take hours, but this one was only an hour, including a long onion frying session. It's as good as I can get in a restaurant.

And I made enough to last for days. DH is delighted to have the cook no longer working! So am I.
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:26 AM   #52
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Why not add tasty recipes to the ER Forum Cookbook?

It's a "sticky thread" in the Other Topics section.

ER Forum Cookbook -- Recipe Posting Thread
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:36 AM   #53
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ditto on the Thermapen.. also, the Maverick ET-732 (about $75) is a game changer in the grilling department... I never cook to time...only to temp. One probe for the grill temp, which is great for getting the grill up to temp and other probe for the protein internal temp. Sit in the lazy boy and set the alarm and you're good to go.

Also give big thumbs up to the best grill I've ever owned...a large Big Green Egg...
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:27 PM   #54
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Another very happy Thermapen user here. It has paid for itself in food I didn't overcook to death.

We also rarely go out to eat, although we do enjoy it. I would much rather buy some excellent ingredients and a good bottle of wine and fix a dinner that costs as much as going to Chili's or Applebee's but tastes like a great restaurant.

I'm also a huge Costco fan - the lamb racks are excellent and very reasonable compared to other stores as others have noted. I always keep one in the freezer. Last Saturday (against my rules to go there on Saturday but the week got away from me) they were having their seafood festival and I bought a 5-lb. bag of fresh littleneck clams. Made pasta vongole (spaghettini with white clam sauce) that DH said was better than he'd ever had in a restaurant. Still had two dozen clams left over, so make a Spanish chicken and clam dish that was similar to a paella but less complicated. It was also yummy.

I have found that watching cooking shows such as Chopped have helped me improve the taste and presentation of my home cooking - things like having a mix of colors on the plate, or adding some acid (lemon or vinegar) at the end of cooking. I look forward to 5pm most days when I pour a glass of wine and start prepping dinner. So nice to have the time to do it this way instead of throwing something together after rush hour traffic.
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:54 PM   #55
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Thermometers are old school... Sous Vide !!!!


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Old 02-27-2015, 12:02 AM   #56
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Interesting to see all the comments on the Costco rack-of-lamb. They are excellent. We only buy them a couple times a year for a special occasion, but now I'm thinking that the next time I go to Costco is a good enough reason for a special occasion.

Another lamb dish we love (in addition to the chops) is Osso Buco. Recipes usually call for veal shanks, but we prefer lamb shanks, and they seem to have them in stock at our local large grocery store chain (Jewel). It is a simple recipe, but the braised shanks with celery, onion and carrots that cook down to a sauce is just amazing. A few spices, and (the key), a fresh gremolata at the finish (lemon zest, garlic, parsley) - it 'brightens' the flavors, and kicks it up a notch.

Hmmmmm....

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Old 02-27-2015, 07:08 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Interesting to see all the comments on the Costco rack-of-lamb. They are excellent. We only buy them a couple times a year for a special occasion, but now I'm thinking that the next time I go to Costco is a good enough reason for a special occasion.

Another lamb dish we love (in addition to the chops) is Osso Buco. Recipes usually call for veal shanks, but we prefer lamb shanks, and they seem to have them in stock at our local large grocery store chain (Jewel). It is a simple recipe, but the braised shanks with celery, onion and carrots that cook down to a sauce is just amazing. A few spices, and (the key), a fresh gremolata at the finish (lemon zest, garlic, parsley) - it 'brightens' the flavors, and kicks it up a notch.

Hmmmmm....

-ERD50
The racks really aren't that expensive and are so easy to prepare. We don't limit it to special occasions. I do a rub of crushed garlic, pimenton, salt and olive oil. Let them sit for a bit wrapped in cling wrap. Then roast or grill them (after removing wrap of course).

We love osso bucco too, but I prefer the veal. When I can find it!!! Idint find lamb shanks that often either. Love them braised.
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Old 02-27-2015, 07:46 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Maybe you actually were talking about a thermometer for the grill itself. Yes, you need that too. My grill lid has a built in thermometer, and I use it to tell me how to adjust the grill frame.
I was referring to a food thermometer. The grill has a thermometer, but it isn't helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Yes. The first link - you can choose any color you fancy. They even have some funky special patterned ones (the limited editions).



The second link was just for a better price option if you don't mind a brown one. Maybe their "milk chocolate" brown color isn't selling well. It's a pretty good discount, I haven't seen them cheaper.

The thing is - besides being very fast, the tiny probe tip is super precise. You can measure the temperature at edges and center of whatever you are cooking and make really good decisions about when it is done or even where to move or turn it.


Me neither ($85 to $96 depending). But I never regretted it for one minute. So much less frustrating than the other crappy "instant read" thermometers. I've ended up giving it as gifts to family members because I knew they would never spring for such a thing. And they've really appreciated having it in their kitchen.

more fun with limited edition Thermapens: ThermoWorks - Limited Edition Splash-Proof Thermapen®
Trying to figure out why I posted a link asking about the product when your post, which I quoted, already had the link. It took my coffee-deprived brain a few minutes this morning before I looked at the time stamp. Often some links in posts take a few minutes to appear. I'm quite sure the post I saw (and quoted) only had the product name, not the links, hence my question. The links showed up a few minutes later, I was already onto something else.

Much ado about nothing, just making sure I'm not losing it. I'm definitely going to get the Thermapen, and given all the colorful options, have a major decision ahead.
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Old 02-27-2015, 08:04 AM   #59
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I was referring to a food thermometer. The grill has a thermometer, but it isn't helpful.


Trying to figure out why I posted a link asking about the product when your post, which I quoted, already had the link. It took my coffee-deprived brain a few minutes this morning before I looked at the time stamp. Often some links in posts take a few minutes to appear. I'm quite sure the post I saw (and quoted) only had the product name, not the links, hence my question. The links showed up a few minutes later, I was already onto something else.

Much ado about nothing, just making sure I'm not losing it. I'm definitely going to get the Thermapen, and given all the colorful options, have a major decision ahead.
LOL!
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Old 02-27-2015, 09:13 AM   #60
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I found a recipe online for chicken khorma curry, and I adjusted it based on wanting to cut the fat and add more veggies. I used more onions, added a bunch of different vegetables instead of just the chicken, used 2 tbsp of light cream instead of 1/2 c of heavy cream, about 1/2 the oil or less. Found out the secret to a thick gravy was to soak cashews in boiling water then grind them in the food processor. So, it has chicken, nuts, carrots, peas, green beans, onions, tomatoes, a splash of cream and some yogurt, a little oil. Boatload of spices, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and chili powder/cayenne pepper. Seems to me to be very healthy, as long as I don't add to the meal too much bread or rice. I've had it twice and skipped the bread entirely. Most Indian recipes take hours, but this one was only an hour, including a long onion frying session. It's as good as I can get in a restaurant.
I never use a recipe for my curries. I buy the curry paste at ethnic groceries in the big 2-3 lb tubs and it lasts a long time in the fridge.

I saute some curry paste in a little oil, throw in some sliced meat (I slice and pre-freeze 0.5 lb "stir fry" bags to make cooking instant). Cook it most of the way, then dump in whatever vegetables I have on hand plus a healthy scoop of curry paste and a small amount of water. I like a lot of veggies in my curry and it's probably healthier that way, too.

For the cream, pretty much anything milk-based will work. Heavy cream, half and half that's about to expire, milk, sour cream, plain yogurt, etc. Coconut milk is also good but I like the cow milk based cream personally (DW likes coconut better). You can go light or heavy depending on how rich you want it. A tablespoon or two of the creams go a long way (more milk obviously).

For the internal temperature testing, I stick a butter knife into the test subject, leave it for maybe 5-10 seconds, then pull it out. I smack my finger on the knife face immediately after pulling out of the subject. If the knife is painfully hot from a quick touch, it's probably done.
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