What's For Dinner #65 - the Brand New New Year's Edition - January 2021

When I brined a whole roaster in buttermilk overnight, the chicken was then wiped clean and dry rubbed with spices the following day for roasting. Brining in buttermilk made the bird fall apart tender but the dry rub was where the flavors enhanced.

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Yeah, I’m going to go this route next time. The buttermilk marinade definitely made the chicken nice and moist; just not a lot of flavor. Although looking at other recipes after last night’s unremarkable flavors, I did see others that did NOT have the vegetable oil and DID have a lot more spices/herbs added. But dry rub after brining is probably the way I’ll get it to my tastebuds’ happy place.

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@LindaWhit, I think the idea of following the buttermilk brine with the dry rub shows promise.

Here’s why: I buttermilk-brined a turkey breast for Thanksgiving, in the style of Samin Nosrat, and my tastebuds did not love the result. Interestingly, I have been really happy with the result when I’ve used a buttermilk brine and herbs mixture on pork chops.

I’m guessing that the—oh so obvious!—differences between pork chops and poultry is why I have been pleased with buttermilk brining for the chops but not for the turkey breast. Meh for the turkey.

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I made Chinese-American takeout-style pepper steak over brown rice:

Full run-down in COTM: CHINESE - Cuisine of the Quarter, Winter 2021 (Jan-Mar) - #26 by ChristinaM

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Happy new year everyone. I don’t pray but have been really hoping this year is better. I’ve been cooking but nothing pretty or wildly exciting. Dinner last night was surprisingly tasty. A mash up of several recipes for a ginger chicken with cilantro and green onions over brown rice, green beans and cucumber salad as sides…

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Happy New Year and I join you in those :pray:. Nice look’in dinner taboot.

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BF made one of our favorite dishes we had multiple times in Portugal, 5 years ago now - Açorda Alentejana (bread soup), with water broth, some very stale baguette, an egg, cilantro, and evoo. Very simple, a dish that is greater than the sum of its parts

Also, a Basque-style sausage from our butcher, the BF’s sherried mushrooms, and a green salad.

Açorda Alentejana, Basque sausage, sherry mushrooms, salad

basque sausage

green salad

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Grilled one of those Berkshire chops for the two of us to share,
Steamed Yukons, smashed with butter, Salvadorian crema, chives
but the WOW was sprouts braised with guanciale…
Screen Shot 2021-01-11 at 6.05.26 PM

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All sounds delicious!

It was a pepper steak kind of night!

BF made the one that I have posted here a couple times. I could eat this once a week. Only difference tonight: he used arrowroot instead of corn starch at the suggestion of a friend of ours in training to be a sous chef. It really made the sauce thicker and shinier, very much like you would get in Chinese-American takeout.

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The Sprout is the baker in the family but was busy yesterday. I planned on making soup and having her make bread for dinner but she didn’t have time. In a fit of delusion, I decided that I can bake bread. I followed the recipe @mariacarmen posted upthread (post 80). I am amazed! I MADE BREAD! And it was good. I can see this becoming a regular thing.

Served with Butternut Squash Soup with Yogurt and Sumac.

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Ha, but you can and you did bake bread! Your talent was just waiting to be discovered. :star_struck:

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That. is a great loaf ! Nice going.

Wow, that looks great! I see an olive oil bread with some intersting spices in your future!

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Oooh, or Focaccia! I like this one from Serious Eats. I skipped the toppings and used just rosemary and salt.

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Thank you @tomatotomato, @rooster, and @heidicooksandbakes.

I have never had a feel for baked goods. I don’t like to measure - though I do now weigh my ingredients which as made a big difference. Since I’ve been home, I have been able to to make a pizza crust which led me to believe I could tackle bread. I may have to continue to venture outside my comfort zone.

Besides measuring, I always seem to have a problem with knowing when cake and it’s derivatives are done.

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Ride your successes, and continue to experiment. I really like the foccacia idea too!

I understand not having a feel for when baked goods are done. Besides visual clues, I have started to use my instant read thermometer. Bread is 200-205 degrees. Cake is 195 to 200. Cheesecake 145 degrees. It’s comforting to have some science on my side.

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^ Me too. Thermapen to the rescue here.

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Thanks for the thermometer tips. But too be honest, I’m not all that good with a thermometer when cooking meat except for a turkey. I’m more of a poke and slit kinda person.

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Tonight I made chicken paprikas in the IP served over a mix of whole wheat and regular pasta. Pantry/fridge dregs meal, but quite yum.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2