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Old 06-07-2015, 01:14 PM   #161
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Last night's dinner was wonderful, and certainly up to restaurant standards: Grilled top sirloin rubbed with a mix of kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and allspice, smashed russet potatoes with blue cheese and fresh thyme, and sauteed broccolini drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar and a sprinkling of blue cheese. We paired it all with an Argentinian Malbec. Dessert was a couple of blondies I made using whole wheat flour, caramelized brown sugar, toasted pecans and butterscotch chips.

No meat thermometer as of yet, but my steak did turn out a perfectly done medium rare - 5 minutes per side on med high heat, one flip, 1 1/2" thickness.

I do so enjoy putting out lovely food.
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:22 PM   #162
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Last night's dinner was wonderful, and certainly up to restaurant standards: Grilled top sirloin rubbed with a mix of kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and allspice, smashed russet potatoes with blue cheese and fresh thyme, and sauteed broccolini drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar and a sprinkling of blue cheese. We paired it all with an Argentinian Malbec. Dessert was a couple of blondies I made using whole wheat flour, caramelized brown sugar, toasted pecans and butterscotch chips.

No meat thermometer as of yet, but my steak did turn out a perfectly done medium rare - 5 minutes per side on med high heat, one flip, 1 1/2" thickness.

I do so enjoy putting out lovely food.
That sounds absolutely delicious. It's so wonderful to have the time to cook good food and experiment. As my culinary skills improve, I find myself being more critical of restaurant food.

I've learnt how to make delicious pizza, too!
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:47 PM   #163
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That sounds absolutely delicious. It's so wonderful to have the time to cook good food and experiment. As my culinary skills improve, I find myself being more critical of restaurant food.

I've learnt how to make delicious pizza, too!
Me too, with regard to becoming more critical of restaurant food. The one thing, however, I am definitely not skilled, or even interested in really, is making good sauces. If a restaurant makes a beautiful sauce to go over an equally beautiful protein, I'm still very appreciative.

Question: How do you get your pizza dough crispy throughout? I've just started making my own pizza dough (much easier than I thought it would be), but am still trying to figure out how to get it cooked/crisp'd evenly. I do use a heated pizza stone, but I still have room for improvement.
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:39 PM   #164
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Question: How do you get your pizza dough crispy throughout? I've just started making my own pizza dough (much easier than I thought it would be), but am still trying to figure out how to get it cooked/crisp'd evenly. I do use a heated pizza stone, but I still have room for improvement.
I'm hardly an expert!

As you can see from the photo, I don't have a pizza stone, though I believe they deliver the best results. My pizza pan has holes in the bottom. I oil it and work the dough right on the pan rather than the countertop, because I'm too lazy to clean a floury countertop. But who knows, that might not work next time.

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Old 06-07-2015, 02:39 PM   #165
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Depends on how much cooking/baking/grilling you do and how patient you are while waiting for the $10 thermometer to give you an accurate temperature. The Thermapen takes about 2-3 seconds versus up to 30 seconds waiting while the oven or grill is open losing heat. It's a very individual preference whether it's worth the $$$ to you. To my husband, it is entirely worth it.
I don't have a thermo-pen to compare, but my cheap (~$15) CDN settles in less than 6 seconds. While the delta between 2-3 seconds and 30 seconds is significant, I can live with 6 seconds, and $75 in my (virtual) wallet.

On another note - the nice thing about souse-vide steak cooking - no need for fast temperature response, and no resting and guessing how much temperature rise you will get. Sear so fast that you avoid the rise.

I recently bought another temperature controller (home brewers use these for fermentation temperature control and kegerator control), and wired up a socket to it so I can control anything (110V AC, <10 amps). It has a waterproof sensor (they sell these for aquarium use), and I plan to plug my manual control crock pot into it to maintain the temperature w/o any hands on monitoring. I'll get it close to temperature first with warm/hot tap water, then the on/off cycle of the crock pot will maintain it.


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Old 06-07-2015, 03:01 PM   #166
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Me too, with regard to becoming more critical of restaurant food. The one thing, however, I am definitely not skilled, or even interested in really, is making good sauces. If a restaurant makes a beautiful sauce to go over an equally beautiful protein, I'm still very appreciative.



Question: How do you get your pizza dough crispy throughout? I've just started making my own pizza dough (much easier than I thought it would be), but am still trying to figure out how to get it cooked/crisp'd evenly. I do use a heated pizza stone, but I still have room for improvement.

Here is a great pizza making forum with everything you wanted to know and more about pizza dough and pizza making.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php

It can be very intimidating but there is a lot of good info here.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:34 AM   #167
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I'm hardly an expert!

As you can see from the photo, I don't have a pizza stone, though I believe they deliver the best results. My pizza pan has holes in the bottom. I oil it and work the dough right on the pan rather than the countertop, because I'm too lazy to clean a floury countertop. But who knows, that might not work next time.

Meadbh - I roll mine out on parchment paper, which I then can easily and non-messily transfer to the pizza stone for baking. (The parchment paper can be folded & reused multiple times)

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Here is a great pizza making forum with everything you wanted to know and more about pizza dough and pizza making.

Pizza Making Forum - Index

It can be very intimidating but there is a lot of good info here.
fidler4 - That is a great forum, thank you. From what I've read so far, it appears you could make a career out of perfecting at-home pizza!
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:43 AM   #168
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I have discovered that it is definitely worth eating out when you are traveling in France. What great experience! Good reason to return.
I would add Italy and Spain to the list. Yes, food is a good reason to travel. It only costs money.
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Old 06-13-2015, 04:33 PM   #169
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One of the simpler foods but very different when made at home. Not a bean fan, but I do like bean dip. Did some home made refried beans. Very different from the canned! Much better! Try it! These beans may never make the transition to bean dip.
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:21 AM   #170
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Wild salmon in the freezer, ripe mango in the fruit bin, fresh mint in my garden, so you know where this is going . . .

Last night's dinner was grilled salmon topped with a Mango and Mint Salsa Recipe | Epicurious.com. I served it over some nutty brown rice along with a butter leaf and tomato salad topped with an oil and lemon vinaigrette. Dessert was my go-to Scripps Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies - Recipe - Cooks.com. I double the chips called for, because, well, chips!

My herb garden now has mint, basil, parsley, thyme, oregano and chives. Using fresh herbs almost exclusively at this point has really elevated what comes out of my kitchen.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:12 AM   #171
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You are still missing sage, rosemary, tarragon, sorrel, lemon grass...

Just joking, of course. You have a decent herb garden.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:50 AM   #172
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Father's day I did up a big pork shoulder for pulled pork, 4 hours of smoke then finished in the oven to get to final temp





Some KC style bbq sauce, served on a big roll with fresh coleslaw and homemade cornbread.


Dad got the thumbs up from the family!
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:01 AM   #173
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It surely looks tender. I can see a bone falling off to the right lower corner of the photo.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:09 AM   #174
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Father's day I did up a big pork shoulder for pulled pork, 4 hours of smoke then finished in the oven to get to final temp





Some KC style bbq sauce, served on a big roll with fresh coleslaw and homemade cornbread.


Dad got the thumbs up from the family!
You could sell a million cookbooks with photos like this one. Yum!
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:22 AM   #175
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You are still missing sage, rosemary, tarragon, sorrel, lemon grass...

Just joking, of course. You have a decent herb garden.
Oops - I forgot I have rosemary too!

I know you jest, but I do actually add herbs as I find myself using them regularly. I find that thyme, oregano and basil are the three I use most often at this point.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:58 AM   #176
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I would add Italy and Spain to the list. Yes, food is a good reason to travel. It only costs money.
Yeah - I think my new rule is "Who needs to eat out at home in the US". The original rule changes quickly when you visit certain countries in Europe.

Of course if we travel to certain locations in the US there are regional specialties difficult to recreate at home due to availability of ingredients. Thinking of Elliot's Oyster House!!! (Seattle).
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:10 AM   #177
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Oops - I forgot I have rosemary too!

I know you jest, but I do actually add herbs as I find myself using them regularly. I find that thyme, oregano and basil are the three I use most often at this point.
I'm another fresh herb fan. Mint, thyme, oregano, parsley, chives, and rosemary are all perennials here. For some reason, my basil has not reseeded as it usually does so I need to get another plant as I use it a lot - I pick all the leaves left before the last frost and freeze them on a cookie sheet, then put them in ziploc bags in the freezer to use all winter.

I don't use oregano as much as the others - what do you use fresh oregano in? I have a massive plant so pretty much an unlimited supply of it.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:39 AM   #178
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...Of course if we travel to certain locations in the US there are regional specialties difficult to recreate at home due to availability of ingredients. Thinking of Elliot's Oyster House!!! (Seattle).
In our last RV trip, we stayed for a week at a timeshare near Ocean City. We had a chance to visit Lytle Seafoods to get the fresh oysters that they dig off their own farm right behind the shack, and source to restaurants. Ah, huge grilled oysters for the 1st course that night. And they happened to have sturgeon that was caught off the Columbia River! Talk about being lucky. When is the last time anyone sees sturgeon for sale in grocery stores? In restaurant dishes?

I did not have all the "stuff" I needed at that timeshare, but still managed to make a heck of a meal.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:58 AM   #179
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I'm another fresh herb fan. Mint, thyme, oregano, parsley, chives, and rosemary are all perennials here. For some reason, my basil has not reseeded as it usually does so I need to get another plant as I use it a lot - I pick all the leaves left before the last frost and freeze them on a cookie sheet, then put them in ziploc bags in the freezer to use all winter.

I don't use oregano as much as the others - what do you use fresh oregano in? I have a massive plant so pretty much an unlimited supply of it.
Q: How do you reseed basil? I pretty much give up at trying to contain the sprouting seeds at the end of each year, cut off everything, make a hugh batch of pesto that I then freeze or give out as gifts, and replant it again in the spring.

Regarding oregano: I add it to salads, pizza, pasta dishes, lasagna, bruschetta, pesto and soups, all of which I make fairly frequently. Anything where basil would work, works for oregano pretty much.
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:56 PM   #180
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Q: How do you reseed basil? I pretty much give up at trying to contain the sprouting seeds at the end of each year, cut off everything, make a hugh batch of pesto that I then freeze or give out as gifts, and replant it again in the spring.

Regarding oregano: I add it to salads, pizza, pasta dishes, lasagna, bruschetta, pesto and soups, all of which I make fairly frequently. Anything where basil would work, works for oregano pretty much.
Propogating basil by cuttings might be easier than trying to collect seeds.
Scroll down halfway on this page...my online search was "propogating basil by cuttings".
Basil Propagation: How To Propagate Basil

I grow the small bushy type in small pots, year round in my grow room. I find it has a more delicate flavor than the classic large Italian type. Whenever I need basil, or stems get too long, I get the scissors out and give it a haircut. I never let it go to flowers or seed.
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