Cooking Good Food

I am not usually one for impulse buys, even at pretty small scales, but I saw some fresh figs at the farmer’s market today, and I caved. Basket of 8 for $7. Fresh figs are something I that I have eaten only rarely and that I have never prepared myself, but they sounded like a nice treat when in season. Naturally, I turned to Serious Eats for some inspiration, and their simple grilling recipe looked like a shoe in, especially since I was planning on making fish on the grill anyway. Fig, cut and stuffed with goat cheese, brushed with olive oil, and then smoked on the grill for about 5 or 6 minutes while the fish rested, then drizzled with cabernet balsamic vinegar from our favorite winery and dusted with a fresh water bit of rosemary from our backyard.

The fish is wild caught sockeye salmon prepared in my family’s traditional fashion that I don’t really see anyone else do. I put the fish on a foil wrapped cookie sheet, salt and pepper, some pats of butter over the fish, and then green onions. That all goes on the Weber kettle over charcoal and apple wood, indirect heat. After getting set down, pour a bit of white wine to cover the bottom of the cookie sheet. This lets the top of the fish smoke while the thin parts don’t overcook. It only takes 10-15 minutes.

The salad in the background is all from the farmer’s market: butter lettuce, cucumber, yellow pepper, and heirloom tomato, homemade dressing of flaxseed oil, balsamic vinegar, horseradish mustard, shallot, salt and pepper.

Great dinner tonight

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Putting in some #work this weekend.

Seared duck liver in cognac reduction, seared duck breast, prosciutto and sage crisped in duck fat, fresh peaches sautéed in duck fat, duck fat and butter pan sauce. Willamette Valley pinot noir.

The Serious Eats recipe that inspired this said to use frozen peaches. Lol, don’t do that. It’s peach season. It also neglected the pan sauce. Lol, don’t do that. Pan sauces are amazing, and the recipe as written results in a piping hot pan caked in delicious fond underneath a pool of even more delicious duck fat that could not be a more delectable start to a pan sauce than anything imaginable. I should have chopped the prosciutto more finely, but this was spectacular. One of the best things I have made in a while, and it should be under consideration for best ever.

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Prime tomahawk ribeye from Costco, smoked on indirect heat for about 45 minutes on the Weber kettle to 115 F internal, then seared over the coals with some corn. Heirloom tomatoes in the bowl are from the farmers market and are to be added to the unshown salad, because MrsWookie foolishly does not like tomatoes. And hot damn, this wine is good.

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Well done. What is the rub on the steak?

Have you tried grilling husked corn on direct heat? I love my corn caramelized and charred…

The spices are Kinder’s Prime Rib seasoning, applied after the heat and during the rest so that they don’t burn. It’s mostly salt, pepper, thyme, and garlic with a few add ons.

A lot of the time when I cook corn in its husk on the grill, the husk just burns off, and the corn partially caramelizes naturally without me having to be arsed to husk it first. This one seemed to have more husk than some of the others I’d done recently, so I didn’t get any caramelized kernels. I’m not opposed to grilling corn naked. I just didn’t bother this time.

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Ricotta gnocchi with Dungeness crab, roasted cherry tomatoes, sautéed zucchini and corn, and parmesan cheese

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My favourite steak sandwich and its easy to make, if you’re Gordon. :joy:

It’s not a badly cooked steak, but he could have done a lot better by roasting it in the oven first to a little under where he wanted to cook it, and then finished it off in the pan, rather than the other way around. Then he would have gotten more of the delicious exterior crust he was trying to avoid (so that he wouldn’t overcook the edges of the steak).

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I’m inclined to go with the Michelin starred chef on this one.

The Good Food channel has Ramsey’s series of prgorammes which have some really brilliant recipes all demo’d by him.

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I don’t doubt that Ramsey is a good chef, but between the extensive experience of my own and those in OOT, it has become plain that bringing a steak up towards its ideal temperature and then searing it is better than the reverse, despite the reverse being orthodoxy in the culinary world. In most areas I either agree or don’t question his opinion, but on steak, there is a lot of testing out there that he’s wrong in this case.

In other news,

Halibut grilled with just olive oil, salt and pepper, and then finished with a squeeze of lime from our tree, and a salad.

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Just noticing this thread but damn all of these dishes look fantastic. Nice work!

Thanks! Hopefully some more people will join in.

It’s Oktoberfest, bros!

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Just found this. Will be posting.

Have just read Dark Emu. Which is a full brain explode exploration of pre- colonisation Australian Aboriginal society.

Basically everything we thought we knew is wrong. Australia had settled agricultural like activities for 20,000 years, some of the oldest human structures in the world and was grinding and baking grain 18,000 years ago.

Anyway. That’s a round about way to say I’m now super pumped to cook with native Australian ingredients.

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The pan here is prettier than the plates, so that is the pic.

Paella with chicken thighs, pork tenderloin, and shrimp.

Just noticed this thread. I’ll try contributing some in the future as well. I have a few meal pics in my log that I might cross post.

I have no food pics right now, but if you’re just starting out, I recommend the book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat. It’s a cookbook, but really it’s more like a textbook on how to make food taste good, no matter what you decide to cook.

There are other places to find details on techniques (searing, deglazing, whatever other scary cooking term that you don’t really understand how to do) but this one talks about the commonalities of all the best dishes and how to get there.

I got a wok and have been on an asian food kick lately, which doesn’t make pretty pictures, unfortunately.

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Doing Chinese tomorrow night, and I’m going to bet you I can get some appetizing pics.

I endorse in a second hand fashion Salt Fat Acid Heat. I want to read it, but I have not yet, but as I’ve become a much better cook over the last few years, I’ve definitely learned that those are vital concepts to good food (I rank them Heat > Salt/Fat > Acid).

As a team building exercise a little while back, my company paid for my team to take a cooking class. Relative to my skills, it was pretty rudimentary (my sub-team was responsible for a buerre blanc and a chocolate mousse, arguably the #1 and #2 most technichally challenging dishes of the service), but the instructor said at the end something I found profound. I at least paraphrase, “Recipes are just opinions, but techniques are universal.” I hadn’t thought about that idea before then, but it is very accurate. At least when it comes to cooking – as opposed to baking, where precise recipes are vital – no one will really give a shit if you use an extra onion or one less teaspoon of thyme or if your pan sauce uses sage instead of parsley, but they will notice unseared meat or a broken pan sauce or a vinaigrette without an emulsifier.

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I’ll admit, plating and presentation are not something I really care about, tbh. I love my wok because I can pretty much throw whatever i have in the pantry/fridge in there (for the most part), and with the right mix of seasoning I can make something that is good and relatively healthy. I mean, I can make asian stuff that isn’t healthy, too, but I usually stir-fry as opposed to batter/deep fry that many recipes call for.

Living in California helps immensely, as we have amazing ethnic grocery stores all over the place, and produce is super cheap.