April cooking

Whoops, I forgot to revise this before it went up the first time.  Lost track of this at the end of the month.

Roast chicken breast and spinach salad (4/1): As simple as it sounds.  I’ve been getting bored with these meals though.  Studying sauces has been a boon.

Roast beef, potatoes au gratin, spinach salad (4/2): Circulated a chuck roast for several hours at 55 degrees C and then finished the outside in the oven. I wish I’d chilled it before trying to brown it in the oven or let it rest and then seared it in a skillet. For the gratin, I infused light cream with garlic toasted in butter as well as some dried thyme. I didn’t bother straining out the butter and garlic. The cheese was shredded Gruyere.

Leftover roast beef, buttered noodles, spinach salad (4/3): Still chipping away at the spinach. Still in the mood for a light vegetable dish.

Pizza, roasted chicken, and salad (4/4): I almost gave in and ordered dinner. Decided to stick it out. Last night of spinach.

Restaurant meal (4/5): Thai restaurant in Northborough. I liked the tom kha gai and pad thai. Duck was okay.

Pancit bihon (4/6): Not my greatest.  I really need to iron out a procedure.

Thai curry chicken (4/7): Used box red curry sauce. All recognizable ingredients. Circulated chicken. Onions, coconut milk, chicken stock with lemongrass and ginger, curry paste. Circulated breast in sauce.

Thai curry chicken, chicken soup, and rice (4/8): Unremarkable.

Beef chuck roast and jus, pasta with fresh tomato sauce and basil, and (4/9): I pre-seared the roast, cooked it at 55 degrees C for 3 hours, chilled it overnight, and then seared it again

Chuck roast, roasted baby bella mushrooms, and spinach salad (4/10): The roast is between 2 and 3 pounds, if I remember correctly.  Low-temp cooking something that large really sets up another meal or two.

Chicken adobo with a chicken liver (4/11): As the page says.  I really like using livers in these soy/acid sauces.

Restaurant meal (4/12): Orange beef, pan-fried noodles with shrimp, eggplant with garlic sauce

In-law meal (4/13): Hot dogs.

Chicken thighs with soy and lemon sauce, sauteed spinach, and brown rice (4/14): Beginning to realize there are two ways to go on this dish.  To my palate, less stock than soy and acid tastes more like Asian home cooking.  More stock than soy and acid works better on the plate, as in I can coat the plate with it because the soy and acid aren’t so strong.  As Dave Arnold would say, this is a case of not better or worse, just different.

Mixed beans with a pork hock, pico de gallo, and brown rice and tortillas (4/21): I pressure cooked a mix of black beans and kidney beans with a ham hock, four times the weight of those in water, and enough salt to achieve 0.5 percent final salinity. After an hour in the pressure cooker, natural release, I mashed the beans with a garlic-infused oil. I separated the meat of the hock from the bone, chopped, and stirred in. The pico de gallo I cut by hand. The brown rice was for my wife and the tortillas were for me.

Chicken cutlets with soy and lemon sauce, cooked-down spinach, and brown rice (4/22): A remix of dinner on the 14th. I was really only trying to survive until the farmstand opened on the 26th. I reduced store-bought chicken stock and then stirred in sauteed garlic, soy sauce, lemon juice, cayenne, and white sugar. While the stock reduced I seared cutlets on both sides. After the cutlets and sauce cooled, I bagged and cooked at 64 degrees C for about an hour.

Chicken thighs in sauce of rosemary, garlic, and white wine (4/23): Starting to divide more stews and braises into two-step (generally speaking) dishes.  The method worked for this dish.  I find also that if I split up the meat and sauce cookery, I can get in more practice cooking meat by conventional methods.

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