Breakfast/lunch/Dinner, what are you having?

Scepticalscribe

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Now, @Renzatic:

Aioli (the garlic mayonnaise that I described in my previous post) goes amazingly well with, well, almost everything.

It is fantastic with anything from the fish family (poached salmon with aioli is one of those perfect marriages sometimes found in fiction and occasionally found in fact); crab meat is also superb with aioli, as are shrimps and the entire shellfish family.

Poached chicken also adores aioli, as do sautéed steak fillets, and yes, sautéed lamb cutlets. Aioli also adores roast potatoes (well, who doesn't?), and is great with burgers, and/or sausages, and also goes awfully well, when slathered on bread, (baguette, bap, focaccia, whatever is your choice) in steak sandwiches.
 
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Renzatic

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I've had aioli before. Usually, I'm fairly suspicious of anything remotely mayo adjacent, but for some reason, I can not only handle aioli, but actually rather enjoy it.
 

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Tonight, I dined on an interpretation of - a tweaked version of - pasta Amatriciana.

Essentially, it is a pasta dish with a sauce made from sautéed guanciale (pig cheek) - rather than pancetta, - tomatoes, and grated Pecorino cheese.

Currently, my fridge plays host to both guanciale (which is rich, tasty and succulent), and Pecorino.

Also in my cupboard are several tins of (invariably excellent) San Marzano (Italian) tomatoes, - but it is high summer, and the local tomatoes are in season, are plentiful and taste absolutely delicious.

So, I started by roasting two dishes of (locally grown, organic etc) cherry tomatoes in a hot oven (180-200C) for around 40-50 minutes; they were seasoned with sea salt, black pepper, and a little unrefined sugar, and generously anointed with olive oil.

Meanwhile, in a large, copper, sauté pan, I sautéed - in olive oil, slowly, very slowly - two very finely diced onions, until caramalised, a process that took around 40 to 50 minutes; ten minced cloves of new season's garlic were added, and they more or less dissolved into the caramalising onions,

Then, the guanciale: You cut off the rind (and discard), same for the peppery underside. Then, cut a large chunk - you will need a heavy, sharp knife - into sticks, and, from there, the sticks become diced guanciale. These are added to the sauté pan, and sautéed until translucent and slightly coloured.

The roasted tomatoes were removed from the oven, and added to the sauté pan, where they were mashed into the other ingredients, which were then all cooked together, at a gentle simmer, for a further twenty to thirty minutes, and were stirred as needed.

Fresh greens (mixed leaves, bought earlier today) provided a salad with a dressing (olive oil, sherry vinegar, a dash of balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, sea salt, black pepper, French Dijon mustard, honey, and some chopped flat leaf parsley); boiling salted water awaited the pasta, and, as the pasta cooked, a few dessertspoons of this liquid were added to the tomato and guanciale pan, and stirred through.

This lot were then mixed together, whereupon dinnner was served, complete with French table cloths, French napkins, crockery, cutlery, crystal glassware, all that makes a repast a feast worth celebrating and enjoying.
 

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This evening, I reminded myself that these days, I live alone, and, as I love to dine late sometimes, why not indulge myself, as nobody here is demanding an early dinner.

Anyway, dinner took the form of the Italian classic, Pasta Carbonara; I realised that I had all of the ingredients to hand, and thought, why ever not?

So, Pasta Carbonara:

The ingredients for this dish are quite simple, and there aren't all that many of them, but, as with any supposedly "simple" dish, this means that it stands or falls on the quality of the ingredients.

The ingredients are: Pasta (preferably one of the long strand types, such as spaghetti, or tagliatelle, but any good quality pasta will suffice); eggs (actually, egg yolks - and here, the quality of the eggs do matter; preferably free range, as they taste better); guanciale (pig cheek); at a push, pancetta - or, any other bacon - will do fine, but guanciale is better; and Pecorino Romano (rather than Parmigiano Reggiano); some recipes call for a 50/50 mix of both, if you only have Parmigiano Reggiano that is fine, but the original recipe calls for Pecorino Romano.

And black pepper. This is a dish that calls for a generous hand with freshly ground black pepper.

Slice and dice the guanciale (remove the rind, and the peppered coating - just slice them off and discard them), then add the diced guanciale to a large saute pan, on a low heat. A very generous, a seriously large chunk of guanciale is what I have in mind; be generous, for this lovely bacon will add a wonderful flavour to your finished pasta dish.

Tonight, I added a little olive oil to the pan - most Italians do not even do this, as the fat of the guanciale will be rendered - to start them off; they will become translucent, and eventually, a little crisp.

Heat the pasta water; for once, you will not need to salt it, as the Pecorino (or Parmesan) cheese will be quite sufficiently salty, and cook the pasta - paying attention to how long it will take to cook - according to the instructions on the packet.

Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites (roughly one egg yolk per 100g of pasta, although you can be more generous), and add them to a bowl; tonight, I used two egg yolks (organic, free range) and one whole egg; whisk them.

Do not buy cheese already grated, it will not be fresh and it will taste of nothing; instead, buy a hunk, and grate it yourself.

When I had the cheese grated, most of it (in two batches) was added to the already whisked eggs, and stirred and whisked. Add some freshly ground black pepper.

If this mix is too claggy, too solid, one can dilute it a little with a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water (which I did this evening); also, - although the purists will howl - should you feel the need for cream, this is when and where you can add it; as with the pasta cooking water, a few tablespoons/dessertspoons should suffice. You want the egg/cheese mix to be neither runny nor solid.

Turn off the heat for both the pasta and the guanciale in its saute pan. This is because you do not want the egg mixture to become scrambled eggs once it has been added to the pan.

Remove (and reserve) around half a mug of pasta cooking water; drain the pasta, and add it to the pan. Stir, coat it with the guanciale (and, above all, that lovely bacon fat that has rendered into the cooking liquid); add a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking liquid to it and stir and mix and marry.

Now, you pour in - slowly - the egg and cheese mix, on top of the pasta; stir around, blend, mix and meld and marry the lot, with tongs, and/or a wooden spoon; and don't forget to add plenty of freshly ground black pepper while you are stirring.

The pasta should be creamy, and should taste delicious (what is there not to like? For here, we have a dish that combines bacon, egg, cheese and pasta).

Serve, and savour.
 
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lizkat

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Heat wave's back for a few days here so I'm back to thinking the best food on the planet for either a lunch or a supper is chopped cucumbers, roma tomatoes and hummus in warmed pita halves. All the produce is local right now, so it's very fresh and delicious.
 

DT

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Heat wave's back for a few days here so I'm back to thinking the best food on the planet for either a lunch or a supper is chopped cucumbers, roma tomatoes and hummus in warmed pita halves. All the produce is local right now, so it's very fresh and delicious.

We eat a ton of hummus around here. Pita, corn chips, parm crisps, radish chips, everything is good to dip in it. I like it put down as a base on a pita and then piled up the tabouli. Our grocery store brand (Publix) is really good (so is their tabouli), seems more like homemade, though when it's on sale we do pick up Sabra, sure it's popular big brand but it's solid. If we want it spicy I put on a dollop of Huy Fong chili sauce!
 

lizkat

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I tend to have something like yogurt and berries or cold cereal berries and milk for breakfast in the summer, instead of oatmeal with apples and raisins, but I'm also just as likely to settle for some hummus on a pita. I'm not heading off to work, so I don't worry about whether it's too garlicky!

Man one thing I was not a fan of --in the NYC subways in the morning rush hour-- was to end up sharing a pole in the middle of a train car with someone who'd recently piled in a lot of garlic.

In the heyday of subway commutes, say the 60s and 70s when there were still a lot of blue collar jobs in the city, not just office workers, the Transit Authority had like 10 or 12 platform conductors (called meatpackers) at major express stops, and their sole function was to try to get 300 people into each car of a train in the rush.
By the time a #2 train traveling from the Bronx had stopped down at 96th in Manhattan, with two stops left to Times Square, then once you had been jammed into a car, you often enough and literally could not move until the car doors opened at 42nd Street.

Then if you were heading all the way down to the financial district, and were lucky, you might even have nabbed a seat at that point, amid the chaos of people trying to enter and exit there in midtown. Otherwise you had another ten or fifteen minutes up close and personal to some garlic-eater hanging on for dear life to the same pole as you and six or seven other people in the middle of that car.

Weird how garlic is great when cooked in a nice meal, and so very very otherwise when it's more of a second-hand experience in a train car.
 

DT

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Have you ever done "overnight oats/oatmeal"? Where you put milk, oatmeal, we use peanut butter, all sorts of things can be added - prep, stick in the fridge in the evening, basically it softens and kind of incorporates overnight, it's all thick and gooey in the morning, super delicious and cold, so it's a nice "cool" breakfast.
 

lizkat

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Have you ever done "overnight oats/oatmeal"? Where you put milk, oatmeal, we use peanut butter, all sorts of things can be added - prep, stick in the fridge in the evening, basically it softens and kind of incorporates overnight, it's all thick and gooey in the morning, super delicious and cold, so it's a nice "cool" breakfast.

I have indeed done that.... well but it was after confiding to a friend once that I sometimes ate leftover oatmeal cold in the summertime, even though initially I had prepared it the traditional way but with a bunch of added stuff like apples and peaches. She just laughed and said why bother cooking it in the summer, and suggested what you've posted above.

Well tonight as it's still acting like summertime around here (not always the case in September), I made a fast supper of some chopped iceberg lettuce, tunafish, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, part of a red bell pepper, some chopped red onion, a dash of Italian herbs and a judicious (well, for me) slosh of jalapeno sauce. Turned out great. Wasn't sure about the green pepper sauce, usually I'd have thrown in some feta and a shake of dried chile flake.
 

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This past week I have treated myself (on several occasions) to a dish I have long loved:

Grilled squid, (succulent and simply delicious) served with olive oil and minced garlic, plus steamed and sautéed chard, and boiled potatoes dressed with olive oil.
 

DT

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This pizza, the Pacific Rim, from Mellow Mushroom __rocked__. And they had a couple of seasonal brews that were excellent.

IMG_1939_1920.jpg
 

lizkat

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This pizza, the Pacific Rim, from Mellow Mushroom __rocked__. And they had a couple of seasonal brews that were excellent.

View attachment 17849
That pizza looks delicious..

But no pizza here today. It's another relatively warm September evening, so salad season persists and tonight's version features a mix of romaine and spinach leaves, an ounce of cut-up cheddar cheese, a few ounces of tuna, diced red onion, half a cup of cooked chickpeas, a few manzanilla olives, diced red bell pepper, oil and vinegar dressing, croutons (from leftover toast today) tossed in at last minute.

Yeah, another kitchen sink salad supreme. Only problem I ever have with those is inability to replicate exactly, if they should happen to turn out in the "is there more?" category.
 

DT

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Not entirely sure about this assertion by NYT cooks.... :LOL: Filed under "you go first."


Did you try it? And, more importantly, what did you think?

Tonight is home made lasagna.


I tried a peanut butter, banana hamburger (like it also had a beef patty), down in NSB (at a restaurant owned by a winner of Hell's Kitchen of all places ...) and it was, weird. It wasn't really bad, I'm into a sweet + savory kind of vibe, in this case, it didn't really enhance anything, just seemed weird for weird's sake.
 

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.. one of our Thaksgiving meals last weekend -- homemade ham & split pea soup -- stock & soup made from scratch, from the last remains of a recently enjoyed ham shank roast -- made enough soup to freeze a couple of containers worth for another time -- yay! Very Canadian meal for Thanksgiving, and Autumn.

IMG_5822.jpg
 

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Scepticalscribe

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.. one of our Thaksgiving meals last weekend -- homemade ham & split pea soup -- stock & soup made from scratch, from the last remains of a recently enjoyed ham shank roast -- made enough soup to freeze a couple of containers worth for another time -- yay! Very Canadian meal for Thanksgiving, and Autumn.

View attachment 18357
That looks amazing, and I will bet that it tasted delicious.

Would you care to share the recipe?
 
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