Leftovers – 2013

This post is all the half-baked blog attempts from 2013.     Mostly, it’s things I cooked but failed to get a good sequence of photos for.     These photos serve to remind me what a terrible blogger I am.

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First up is Tawainese style braised something. What the heck is that? Beef? Pork? I honestly can’t remember. This is a flexible recipe (which I’ve blogged about a few times before). Braise whatever meat you have, serve it with noodles and greens.  Don’t worry too much what kind of meat, or which kind of noodle, or what Chinese greens.  Heck, I can’t read Chinese and they’re often not labeled in English: sometimes I just pick a bushy, leafy green vegetable and go with it.   Oh and there’s some broth in there too – a mix of half stock, half braising liquid from the mystery meat.   Probably.

 

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Beef jerky. This is bottom round steak, marinated in half soy sauce, half red wine, and a bit of brown sugar, then cold-smoked for about an hour and dehydrated to finish.  This photo is at the start of dehydration, when the meat is still mostly raw but already smoky.

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Asian-inspired steak: oyster mushroom pan sauce, side of spinach cooked with fried shallot oil and rice.

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This would be me struggling with top round (aka “London Broil”). Honestly, I am stumped by this cut of meat. It’s so lean and tough that no matter what I do with it I find myself unsatisfied with the result. Often I use it for beef jerky (see above). Perhaps I’ll try making a bresaola from it next time. If you have good ideas, let me know.

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There’s not enough to do for sashimi to make a full blog entry: just buy a nice piece of tuna, cut it and serve. But it’s too delicious not to take a photo of.

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Figs! For my birthday a friend brought me a couple pounds of figs from the tree in her yard. I cooked them down with brown sugar and some mixed spices, pureed the result and ended up with an amazing fig paste. This ultimately became a canape for Thanksgiving: cracker, smear of fig paste, sliver of goat cheese, and a slice of proscuitto on top. Which, terrible blogger that I am, I failed to photograph.

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In case you think that poaching an egg is difficult, it’s not. I see all these complicated recipes involved swirling water around — ignore that.   It’s really very simple. Just fill a frying pan with about a half inch of water, bring it to a boil, and crack eggs into it. When they’re done, pull them out with a slotted spoon.   Simple.

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Mexican-inspired marinated grilled steak, served with tortillas, salsa and sour cream.

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Staging for making an Italian-American style lasagna.   This is “Lazy Lasagna,” where I made the bolognese, but not the rest.  One of these days I’ll post lasagna truly from scratch: homemade pasta, homemade ricotta, etc.

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Reprise of Taiwanese Pork Belly, served with a mystery Chinese vegetable (“an choy,” maybe?), saute’d with shallot oil and Chinese sausage.

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Here’s an extremely rare photograph of me making something that doesn’t involve meat or alcohol.  This is a blueberry Dutch Baby, kind of like a baked pancake.

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Here’s my try at a steamed clams recipe from Momofuku. They make bacon dashi for this; I used cheap dashi and lots of bacon.   Steam clams in dashi, sprinkle bacon and green onions on top.

 

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