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Paul Winalski

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:06 pm

Thai red curry tonight. Tomorrow will probably be sambar and papadums.

-Paul W.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:30 pm

Paul, do you make your own papadums from scratch? I absolutely adore them but never explored making them on my own, and of course I don't deep fry. Is there a shortcut?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:33 pm

Tonight: chicken cordon bleu with cheese sauce.
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Paul Winalski

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Sun Oct 25, 2020 4:04 am

Jenise,

Papadums are one of those things such as soy sauce and ketchup that I'd never consider making myself from scratch. I use store-bought. I don't deep-fry them--I shallow-fry them. Heat a quarter-inch to a half-inch or so of neutral oil (I use peanut oil--some Indians use ghee!) in a skillet--you want it hot (I'd say 350 F) but not smoking. Then put in the papadum and push it down to make sure it's fully immersed in the oil. It will puff up in a second or two. You'll be amazed at how fast it happens. Remove it immediately and pat dry with paper towels if you think it's necessary. This works best with fresh oil that's never been used before. Most papadums are made from urad dal (black gram) flour. Some are made from mung bean flour. I've found that the mung bean-based papadums leave the oil in a state that's unusable for any other purpose after frying the papadums. But they are yummy.

Apparently you can also cook papadums without oil by roasting them directly over an open flame or high heat. I've never tried that.

There's a big difference between North Indian and South Indian papadums. The Northern papadums are thinner and six or eight inches or so wide, and are either plain or are more highly spiced with cumin, black pepper, asafoetida, or garlic. Punjabi papadums are particularly highly spiced. South Indian papadums are smaller (about three or four inches in diameter) and a bit thicker, and tend to be plainer rather than spicy.

I like 'em all.

-Paul W.
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Sun Oct 25, 2020 6:20 pm

Thanks for the info, Paul. I always wondered why they varied so much from resto to resto.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Sun Oct 25, 2020 6:21 pm

Julia's Boeuf tonight. (Classics weekend, I guess.)
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:13 am

We had crunchy two hour baked potatoes last night. Today, Bob's prepping for tomorrow's colonoscopy so he's on a clear liquid diet and I'll be happy reheating some of the Italian cabbage rolls I made Saturday.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:45 pm

Dave Barry, the humorous columnist for The Miami Herald, wrote a column about his own colonoscopy experience. You can find it here: https://www.miamiherald.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/dave-barry/article1928847.html. Well worth a read if you're facing (or have had) the procedure.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:39 pm

Jeff Grossman wrote:Thanks for the info, Paul. I always wondered why they varied so much from resto to resto.


Oops, missed Paul's post earlier! Interesting that they can be shallow-fried, I'd have thought they'd have needed a pretty deep well of oil. I didn't know about the Southern Indian papadums, but that description fits something I had at a friend's house in 2019 PC (pre-Covid). She didn't call them papadums but nonetheless, it fits, and they were wonderful. I wonder where she got them...!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:52 pm

I did make sambar and papadums last Sunday. I took the opportunity to read the ingredients labels on the various types of papadums I have (Northern style in plain, cumin, and Punjabi flavors; Southern in Madras and Kerala styles). I just did a recipe post with all the information.

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Barb Downunder

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Wed Oct 28, 2020 2:23 am

Re papadamss (the spelling variations are numerous). I did actually make them from scratch once. Worked pretty well. But not really worth the trouble , finding the right flour etc.when the commercial products are good and cheap.
They can all be deep fried, shallow fried or even microwaved (although not quite as good but acceptable and oil free)
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Wed Oct 28, 2020 2:53 pm

Wow, Barb--homemade papadums from scratch! I tried making dosas completely from scratch once. The problem was getting the batter to ferment properly--the New England climate is too cold. Luckily our local Indian grocery sells both dosa and idli batters. I have an idli tree and I now buy the batter and steam them at home. I've given up on cooking my own dosas. I've seen them cooked right in front of me at Indian restaurants so I know the technique, but I can't get the proper thinness and texture. I imagine it's a matter of practice, but I don't have the patience. Idlis, on the other hand, are dead easy.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Rahsaan » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:46 pm

Paul Winalski wrote:I've given up on cooking my own dosas. I've seen them cooked right in front of me at Indian restaurants so I know the technique, but I can't get the proper thinness and texture. I imagine it's a matter of practice, but I don't have the patience.


I've tried several times and cannot get the batter thin enough and easy enough to separate from the pan. No matter how hot or what portion of oil I use, I'm always scraping and hacking. And I make 'American' pancakes every Sunday with no problems.

Now I've given up and just buy the dosa batter and then bake little crackers/flatbreads. Easy and delicious with the dosa taste and similar mealtime function.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:44 am

Paul Winalski wrote:Dave Barry, the humorous columnist for The Miami Herald, wrote a column about his own colonoscopy experience. You can find it here: https://www.miamiherald.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/dave-barry/article1928847.html. Well worth a read if you're facing (or have had) the procedure.

-Paul W.


Thanks--printed it out for Bob. I haven't heard him laugh that hard in a long time.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:04 pm

I have not made dosas but I see a lot of people online have the same trouble that they stick. Mostly, the cooks recommend the usual nostrums... make the batter thinner, get the pan hotter, use more oil.... But the most intriguing suggestion I saw (in several sources) is to rub the cold, dry pan with flour; fine dust, if possible. Rub it in good and hard, then go about your business.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:52 pm

No idea what I'm cooking tonight.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sat Oct 31, 2020 6:49 pm

Lamb shanks in the oven now. Will be osso buco style.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Sat Oct 31, 2020 7:57 pm

Chicken with 40 Cloves here. Also, a pot of minestrone.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Larry Greenly » Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:42 pm

[quote="Jeff Grossman"]Chicken with 40 Cloves here. /quote]

One of my faves. Ribeye and shrimp tonight. With chimichurri sauce. Romanian red: Feteasca Neagra (I vant to bite your neck.)
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by DanS » Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:26 am

Jenise wrote:Lamb shanks in the oven now. Will be osso buco style.


I love braising in this kind of weather. I made osso buco with rosotto milanese last night. Got a lamb shank in the freezer that will be for dinner next weekend.

Tonight will be chicken noodle soup. I've got to make room in the freezer and some chicken parts seem like a good bet to make space (and dinner).
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jenise » Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:47 am

DanS wrote:
Jenise wrote:Lamb shanks in the oven now. Will be osso buco style.


I love braising in this kind of weather. I made osso buco with rosotto milanese last night. Got a lamb shank in the freezer that will be for dinner next weekend.

Tonight will be chicken noodle soup. I've got to make room in the freezer and some chicken parts seem like a good bet to make space (and dinner).


Me too. And braising is so easy! My lamb shanks went straight from the freezer to the oven--just added an hour to my standard 2.5 hour baking time to allow for thawing and held them at 200F until I was ready to fix the rest of the meal. Started them about 2, ate dinner around 8. With pork, beef or lamb, you can be that flexible.

I have the same freezer problem you do. I'm overloaded. Often choose my next meal based on what will free up the most space. :)
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Paul Winalski » Sun Nov 01, 2020 4:56 pm

Next up for me will be Sichuan dry-fried beef.

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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Jeff Grossman » Mon Nov 02, 2020 1:28 am

Jeff Grossman wrote:Also, a pot of minestrone.

So, you'd think I couldn't mess up minestrone. The soup was doing great until I decided to throw a bit of pasta in it. I glanced at a recipe, just to see what they said, and it called for 1-1/3 cups of pasta.

And, had I used spirals or shells, that would have been just fine and I'd be enjoying minestrone soup now.

But I didn't think it all the way through, and I grabbed the remnants of a box of orzo.

I now have a mountain of pasta porridge. Smells like plain pasta, tastes like plain pasta, you could use a fork if you felt like it.

Sigh. It's going to take an enormous amount of seasoning and add'l broth/tomato/other fluids to make this soup again. Or even, the least bit interesting.
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Re: What's Cooking (Take Three!)

by Barb Downunder » Mon Nov 02, 2020 4:14 am

Oh Jeff, I feel your pain.

I e just had a few days away with friends at the seaside and I’ve come home with a beautiful fresh calamari. So I’ve made squid ink pasta and will sauce that wirh sliced calamari, garlic, cherry tomatoes and basil with a touch of chilli flakes
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