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In the Kitchen with DKDetective and InCali: All Things Food, Wine, and Spirits, Etc.

Discussion in 'SHH Community Forum' started by DKDetective, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. DKDetective Elementary, Dear Robin (he/him/his)

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    Hey Everybody, with so many of us filling our time during COVID cooking, baking, and well... drinking, I thought it might be fun to revive some discussion of these topics around here. Also given how small independent restaurants have been hurt by the pandemic and how badly they need the support of loyal patrons right now, I thought it might also be nice to discuss them and share some recommendations.

    To get things started, here are some of my favourite chefs, cookbooks, cooking shows, local restaurants, and wines...

    Chefs: Thomas Keller, Paul Bocuse, Eric Ripert, Fernand Point, Eugenie Brazier, Jean, Pierre, and Michel Troisgros, Aaron Franklin, Jacques Pepin

    Cookbooks: The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller, The Bouchon Cookbook by Thomas Keller, Paul Bocuse's French Cooking, The Babbo Cookbook by He Who Shall Not Be Named, Hawksmoor at Home, Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Cooking/Food Shows: Alton Brown's Good Eats, Iron Chef America, Chef's Table, Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations/Parts Unknown

    Restaurants in Southern Ontario: David's Bistro, The Restaurant at Pearl Morissette, Craft Farmacy, Inn on the Twenty, Barberian's Steakhouse, Waldo's on King, The River Room

    Wine Producers: Chateau Lagrange (Bordeaux), Chateau Lanessan (Bordeaux), E. Guigal (Northern Rhone), Paul Jaboulet Aine (Northern Rhone), Maison Roche de Bellene (Burgundy), Cave Spring Vineyards (Beamsville Bench, Ontario)

    For those who noticed a certain through line in my favourite chef and cookbooks, here is my favourite Anthony Bourdain episode of all time (free on YouTube):
     
  2. InCali I got a pUpgrade!

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    I can't wait to hear the contribution @flickchick85 makes. "I had this thing delivered to me and I heated it up." :oldrazz:

    I'm pretty much a self taught cook. When I was in school, I found that if you're a good cook, more women like you. When I lived in the dorms, they had a limited number of kitchens for people with special dietary issues. I made up some excuse so I wouldn't have to eat the institutional food (I have horror stories about some of those meals) and they put me in one of the kitchens. I cooked stuff for a bunch of people.

    EDIT: I did learn some stuff from a friend of mine who graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.
     
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  3. DKDetective Elementary, Dear Robin (he/him/his)

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    Yes, women do like a man who can cook. First date I had my now wife over to my place, I made her braised Osso Buco with fresh gremolata and traditional buttered pasta. It seems to have worked. :D

    I also have no professional training. I learned to cook from my grandmother, a Czech immigrant who grew up on a farm and learned to cook and bake the old-fashioned European way from her own mother. I was very lucky to have my grandparents living with us growing up. Both my parents were professionals and my Mom worked late. So I would get home from school and hang out with my Grandma in the kitchen as she cooked dinner, which was always from scratch, and we would often watch the Food Network together. My only experience with fast food as a kid was other children's birthday parties or play dates. I was not a fan... My Mom had to warn other parents that I was a strange child in advance because I would often not eat anything. :funny:

    The other key component of my love of food was my weekly Saturday father-son time with my Dad. He would take me to see the first matinee movie showing at the old downtown movie theatre and then would take me for lunch downtown. Lunch would usually be at some nice downtown restaurant near the movie theatre that my Dad wanted to try. My Mom used to give him hell because I got taken out on way more "dates" to nice restaurants than her. :funny:
     
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  4. DarthSkywalker Regular As Clockwork (he/him)

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    Should of named this the thread, "The DK & InCali North American Gentlemen of Leisure Discussion On the Pleasures of Food for the Discerning Palate."
     
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  5. InCali I got a pUpgrade!

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    You're making me blush.....
     
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  6. DarthSkywalker Regular As Clockwork (he/him)

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    That's just the morning wine. :p
     
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  7. DKDetective Elementary, Dear Robin (he/him/his)

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    Lol Unfortunately our forums do not allow thread titles of that length, otherwise I would totally add that. It would be like our version of @Kane52630 and @Black Narcissus at the movies thread... :grin:

    BTW, @DarthSkywalker, to help get onboard with my man crush on Chef Thomas Keller, he was the chief culinary consultant on Ratatouille and designed all of the dishes from the film. The whole idea of perspective and the best food drawing upon memories of familial and childhood in the film is basically his culinary ideology (as you would see in that Bourdain episode from 2001).

    Also, despite having more money than God and not really needing relief, Keller has started a class action lawsuit on behalf of independent restaurant owners whose commercial insurers are possibly denying business interruption coverage for Covid-related revenue losses.
     
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  8. InCali I got a pUpgrade!

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    Chiles Rellenos Casserole

    Jack cheese cut into slices that will fit into the chiles
    10-12 green chiles (Anaheim or Hatch) Hatch are spicier and better IMO

    The chiles have to be roasted and peeled and this makes the dish pretty involved.
    Everyone has their own technique, but I cut around the top of the chile and pull it off.
    Sometimes you can get most of the seeds. I use a very narrow spoon I have to pull out the seeds before roasting.
    When they start to brown in the broiler (away from flame or filament as possible), I flip them.
    A lot of the time you can see the skin bubble up from the chile.
    When they are mostly browned, I put them in a paper bag for about 15-20 minutes before peeling.
    That seems to make peeling a little easier. Some people roast them over a direct fire or on a grill.
    No matter how you do it, you need to make sure they don’t burn.

    4 eggs
    1/3 cup milk
    ½ cup flour
    ½ tsp baking powder
    1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
    pitted sliced black olives

    I use an electric beater on a pretty low speed and put the flour in very slowly so it doesn’t lump up.

    Beat eggs; add milk, flour and baking powder; beat until smooth at a higher speed and pour over chiles stuffed with jack cheese;
    sprinkle cheddar and top with olives.

    Bake at 375 (I generally use a medium Pyrex dish with non stick spray) for about 30 minutes or until puffy and set when shaken.
    A little bit browner on top is better than undercooked.


    Salsa

    3 tbsp of finely chopped onion and one clove of garlic in 1 tbsp butter (Edit: cook until translucent) stir in 15 oz el pato tomato sauce (2 cans),
    1/3 cup water, ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp oregano. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes and serve warm. This is done to taste.
     
    #8 InCali, Aug 11, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
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  9. DarthSkywalker Regular As Clockwork (he/him)

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    Well now I have to look him up properly. Especially as I was considering a Ratatouille gif for my original post. :D

    That last bit sounds truly amazing. I am sure there is a bit of benefit to him in some way, but the amount of good that could do for those smaller owners and I would guess their employees probably can't be measured simply in dollars and cents.

    Considering you, InCali and I am sure others are fond of cooking, I am curious. What our some of your favorite foods to prepare? Do you have a signature dish of sorts? What was the first thing you can remember learning to cook? Is there any style of cuisine that you'd really love to learn, and/or specific dishes?

    Also you mentioned your grandmother getting you started. What were the thinks she made, that really got you going? Same with those movie dates with your father. What were some of the restaurants and meals you can remember?
     
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  10. InCali I got a pUpgrade!

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    I am an absolute Mexican food junkie. My mom is probably responsible for that, but my dad (Irish dude), never gave a white woman a second look, so all my step moms were Mexican also. I got the rellenos casserole from my father's last wife.

    When I was doing a lot of union work, we had a lot of potlucks and I collected recipes from people. I planned on writing a cookbook. I was going to call it something like "Don't Get Burned: A Trade Unionist's Guide to Cooking", but that never happened.

    I have stuff like Chinese stir fry sauces and Chinese chicken salad, shrimp salad with a homemade lemon/basil dressing, frittatas, quiches, various baked poultry, seafood, meat recipes, etc. One thing I never got into was baking bread. I'm not a huge fan of breads, pastries, and so forth. In fact, I never eat refined sugar and don't like chocolate. I prefer beer.

    However, there's nothing I love more than eating a delicious taco over the sink and washing it down with a glass of cold milk.
     
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  11. MissMarvelous Alienated

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    :O shall we exchange avy-s? That's alien to me :p

    Ever attempted to make some homemade nacho chips?
     
  12. InCali I got a pUpgrade!

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    You wouldn't believe some of the looks and comments I've received when I tell people that I don't like refined sugar or chocolate. They range from jaw dropping to being told I'm unamerican to, you guessed it......some sort of alien. LOL.

    EDIT: Make several different types of nachos and often make my own chips.
     
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  13. DKDetective Elementary, Dear Robin (he/him/his)

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    Re Keller
    Oh yeah, Keller would definitely benefit from the lawsuit if successful. He is just not in as much need as others. Class actions are expensive and risky.

    He also started selling TFL merchandise with the proceeds going to his restaurant relief fund. The other thing to know about him is that he is opposite of the Gordon Ramsay stereotype of the yelling abusive chef. Many of his former staff say his kitchens are quiet and civil. He is a perfectionist, but would devote time every week to teaching all of his line cooks how to do classic French techniques, which is why many have become great chefs in their own right. His style of discipline is more of the "disappointed, loving Dad". Knowing that you let him down is all the reprimand needed most of the time.

    Favourite Foods to Cook
    With respect to what I love to cook, I'm a big fan of French food, Northern Italian, German/Czech and European classics generally. I am huge believer in using fresh, local produce and humanely raised animals. When it comes to meat and fish I believe in good old fashioned "peasant cooking" and using every part of the animal. Most great French cuisine is at its coret epitome of "peasant cooking". They just applied scientific levels of refinement and philosophy to it. It is all of the sort of stuff my Gramma would cook for me, but taken to professional levels. She would make sole in a mayonnaise sauce with parsley butter potatoes, panfried trout with lemon and capers, schnitzel with fried potatoes, steak fried in butter with homemade French fries, Hungarian goulash, or a simple roast chicken with beautiful fresh herbs. At Christmas, she would make us the traditional Danish Christmas dinner that my grandfather grew up with, a whole leg of roast pork with crackling, and baby potatoes roasted in butter and sugar.

    My "signature dish" is probably my various versions of braised beef short ribs. You take a tough, fatty, cheap cut of beef and through love, technique, time, and the help of some wine, stock, root vegetables, and herbs transform it into something melt in your mouth tender with a rich sauce. It is "transformative cooking".

    A lot of my other dishes well-known to guests are similarly braises, like Milanese Osso Buco, Brasato al Barolo (Northern Italian Pot Roast made using real nice local Barolo red wine), Pappardelle with Bolognese Sauce, Coq au Vin, Duck Confit and a Cassoulet of Beans.

    I also love to grill and barbecue. I learned from my Dad that everyone always enjoys a family cookout with some nice steaks in the summer. I have a charcoal grill/BBQ/smoker and will make real Central Texas-style BBQ with it eg. Brisket, Beef Ribs. (Central Texas BBQ is descended from the meat smoking traditions of late 19th Century German and Czech immigrants).

    I also love to cook fish. Many of my fondest memories of those post-movie lunches with my Dad are of beautiful fresh fish, like Arctic Char. We went to Mexico when I was 5 and we went off resort for some authentic local food and found a beautiful restaurant on a mountain. Seeing white English-speaking tourists, the very gracious waiter offered to get me an American style burger and fries. I said no thank you and ordered the local blackened red snapper off the menu.

    Favourite Restaurant Meal
    With respect to the post-movie meals with my Dad, my fondest memory and possibly the greatest fine dining meal I have had in my life was when we went to an old local fine dining institution for dinner one time when I was 13 or 14. My Gramps had passed, and my Mom and Grandma were out of town for a bridal shower, so it was just me and him for the weekend. The restaurant was situated in a beautiful old Victorian house on the edge of the city. It had just changed owners. The new owner was a German chef. After being an executive chef in hotels and the like, this was his first time owning his own restaurant and the passion showed. My Dad ordered for me and I still remember every course like it was yesterday. My starter was a "deconstructed" Caesar salad - the romaine head was grilled whole and served with a large round of crispy pancetta and a slice of toasted fresh bread instead of croutons. Then I had the rack of lamb which was roasted with rosemary and paired with Port sauce. It was the first time I had lamb and have loved it ever since. For dessert, I had the cappuccino creme brulee, which came with crunchy chocolate covered espresso beans. It was phenomenal from beginning to end.

    Sadly, the chef retired and the building was sold to some hack developers who turned it into a mediocre pub with bad food for suburbanite Boomers who want to get drunk and can walk home afterwards. The beautiful antique hardwood trim was painted black and a faux wine cellar (you don't store wine in front of big windows) installed in the elegant old parlour room where I had my life changing experience.

    EDIT: Oops, I did not intend for this post to be this long, I guess I just have a lot I would love to discuss on these topics, hence the thread! :funny:

    I have added headings to make my manifesto easier to navigate. :hehe:
     
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  14. Joined:
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    We've been on the Hello Fresh plan for about a month now. I can't recommend it enough. Also, through other meat delivery serivces out there, I got wild boar and elk pre-formed burger patties on the way.
     
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  15. DKDetective Elementary, Dear Robin (he/him/his)

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    That's great. Anything that can help people get fresh, healthy ingredients without having to brave the hustle and bustle of busy supermarkets is important right now. Wild boar, elk, and game generally are among my favourite foods. When my wife and I honeymooned in Oslo, I'm pretty sure I ate reindeer in every possible way it can be prepared.

    I grew up in the countryside and fortunately still live in a smaller city surrounded by abundant farmland, so I have easy access to farmer's markets, vegetable stands, and small local butchers. All of them are great for doing telephone orders and curbside pickup. Other than game, I buy most of my meat from one family-owned butcher shop 5 minutes from where I grew up. They still hang their beef the old-fashioned way instead of wet aging it in cryovac bags.
     
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  16. Joined:
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    I shall drop you a line when I'm in Somerset, if this pandemic doesn't end us all.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. DKDetective Elementary, Dear Robin (he/him/his)

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    [​IMG]
    Most certainly, old man.
     
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  18. flickchick85 Admin of Might

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    Sure, @Black Narcissus gets praise for his meal delivery service and I get shamed for mine just because mine involves a microwave! :argh:
     
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  19. InCali I got a pUpgrade!

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    You MICROWAVE it??? :thud:

    I like the vegan part though......What kind of stuff do you get?

    I never foresaw delivery service being discussed, but what the heck?:shrug:
     
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  20. KRYPTON INC. Incorporated Kryptonian

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    We need @Guts up in here.
     
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  21. DKDetective Elementary, Dear Robin (he/him/his)

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    Funny story, our microwave broke about 2 weeks into COVID. We didn't set up our replacement until last week. I never really use the thing. I prefer to use our countertop minioven when possible. I don't like what the microwave does to the flavour and texture of food. :shrug:
     
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  22. flickchick85 Admin of Might

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    I hate using my gas stove in this heat. :funny:

    Mostly harvest bowls, flatbreads and smoothies. Harvest bowls are basically just veggie bowls. My favorites are probably the tomato/lentil bolognese and the cauliflower rice and kimchi bowls. I usually like to add stuff to them for flavor, like cheese and sometimes marinara to the bolognese bowl, and pineapple habanero hot sauce and egg to the kimchi bowl. There's also a sweet potato, wild rice and avocado bowl that I like to add cheese, egg and various hot sauces to for nice breakfast burritos. My favorite of the flatbreads is this weird kale/red cabbage/cilantro concoction on a sweet potato crust that shouldn't be as tasty as it is. I still add cheese though, b/c in my world, cheese makes everything better, lol.
     
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  23. DKDetective Elementary, Dear Robin (he/him/his)

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    You have a gas stove? Okay, respect...
    [​IMG]
     
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  24. InCali I got a pUpgrade!

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    I was going to say you aren't a very good vegan, but I agree with you WRT cheese. :yay:

    I make a really good marinara sauce from scratch that I'll use when I make a lasagna. I was a vegetarian for about 30 years (lived in Santa Cruz so I don't need to say any more than that) and perfected it over time. Basically I just put some butter or olive oil in a large skillet and add basil, oregano, thyme, some rosemary (don't over do it), sage, and a couple of bay leaves. You can basically add whatever spices you like. Cooking in oil seems to help bring out the flavors. Then I add garlic to taste and chopped brown onions. I let it cook for awhile (man it smells great) and then add tomato paste and diced tomatoes (If it's tomato season, sometimes I'll boil and peel them). Add a few more spices to taste and let simmer. It's really, really good. For the lasagna, you can use the regular mozzarella and ricotta cheese, but sometimes I'll use tofu instead. It really doesn't change the taste that much if you slice it fairly thin. Most of the flavor comes from the sauce. They even have gluten free lasagna noodles that you don't have to pre-cook. You just drop them in the greased pan on top of the sauce and start layering.

    You tempted? :cwink:
     
  25. DKDetective Elementary, Dear Robin (he/him/his)

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    God, I love cheese in all of its various forms and styles (except processed and spray form, which I do not consider real cheese).

    One of my favourite dishes to make as part of a casual, comforting dinner is a traditional French cheese and mashed potato preparation called "Aligot". Basically you make Pommes Puree (French mashed potatoes where you push the boiled potato flesh through a fine sieve to get tiny potato particles and then fold in copious amounts of heavy cream and butter), except you replace large portions of the cream and butter with large quantities of shredded cheese, preferably something French or Swiss that melts well like Cantal, Comte, or Gruyere.

    The result is gooey, cheesy happiness in a bowl:
    [​IMG]
     
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