August 10, 2022

Poached Catfish

What have I been doing for the last month? Looking for catfish. Seems like it’s really tough to get here in New England in the summer. See, I have two recipes to go in Season 3 and I wanted to do the Catfish au Lait before the duck, so we can end the season with a little flair.

Anyway, after striking out on finding catfish locally – which is odd given the large amount of fishmongers here on the coast – I finally bit the bullet and had some shipped overnight to my house, to the tune of about $100. Was not thrilled about that, but, progress must be made!

To tell you the truth, I was not excited about this at all. I’ve eaten catfish before and thought it was kinda blech. But I vowed to keep an open mind, and I went ahead creating the poaching liquid and preparing my fillets. The recipe calls for using an electric skillet, but directly after finishing and serving the onion soup I gave it away. So instead, I brought the liquid to a bare simmer, popped on the cover, and turned off the heat for 9 minutes.

poaching

After nine minutes I opened the cover and tested the liquid temperature out of curiosity. It was still in the mid-140’s so not bad. Since I was doing this during lunch (so as not to risk ruining an entire dinner if it went poorly), we just put the fish out on the cutting board and went at it with a couple forks.

The fish was… fine. I mean, not terrible but also not amazing either. I don’t think I would really take the trouble to source catfish and do this again, that’s for sure. But at the same time we don’t regret eating it. Maybe my opinion is a little colored by the hoops I needed to jump through.

My goal of not leaving recipes that I’m not excited for to the end did not quite play out the way I’d hoped. One more to go in the season, though, and I have the duck on order already…

Catfish au Lait

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Instead of an electric skillet, I brought the liquid to a bare simmer, then covered it and turned the heat off for 9 minutes.

July 07, 2022

Poached Striper

This is a two-for-one recipe, where we make the GE Court Bouillon first, and then use it as an ingredient to make something else. So we start with the court bouillon:

court bouillon cooking

Once it was finished I strained it out to use as my poaching liquid.

poaching liquid

I then brought it to a simmer and added a halved one-pound filet of striped bass. Even though the recipe for The Frenchman’s Bass didn’t call for it, I prepped the filets by seasoning them with salt and pepper first.

poaching striper

I brought the liquid back down to a bare simmer, covered the pan, and gave it 7 minutes to do its thing. I have to admit I was skeptical on this one, and so rather than making dinner, I did this up for lunch, alongside a simple Boston lettuce salad prepared by Gemma.

finished plate

The fish was awesome. It came out really flaky and not dry at all. Poaching cooked it absolutely perfectly. Would definitely do this one again.

GE Court Bouillon

  • Crowd: N/A
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Strained off all the stuff before using it as poaching liquid

The Frenchman's Bass

  • Crowd: 4/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Used 2 8oz halves of a 16oz striped bass filet
  • The recipe didn't call for it, but I salt & peppered the filets before poaching them

June 05, 2022

Grilled leg of lamb

I’ve been looking forward to the Silence of the Leg O’ Lamb for a while, but for some reason had felt a little intimidated by it. Turns out that it was super easy and extremely delicious! I first started by making the seasoning paste, spreading it all over the inside of the roast, and trussing it all up into a nice little package:

CAN truss it?

Now in the show he uses a charcoal grill and makes a big deal about that. I’ve been game for obtaining lots of new gear during this project, but I couldn’t justify a charcoal grill for this one so I used my gas grill. To simulate what he did in this episode, I heated up my three-burner grill, then turned off the middle burner and set the side burners to about half power. This got me some nice indirect heat. To top it off, I wet a few rosemary sprigs, wrapped them in tin foil, poked a couple holes in it, and put the package on a burner towards the back of the grill. This created a nice rosemary smoke, which filled my porch as the lamb grilled.

I used a 2 pound boneless leg from Trader Joe’s. I flipped it after 20 minutes at which point the roast was about 95 degrees internal. After another 13 minutes, it hit 122 and I took it off the heat. Letting it rest for 10 minutes brought the leg up to about 138 – a few degrees past my target of 135, but that’s OK.

finished on the grill

We sliced it up and served it simply with some roasted broccoli and rice pilaf. It was a hit! Very tender, juicy, and flavorful. Would definitely do this one again.

sliced and almost gone

Silence of the Leg O' Lamb

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Cooked on a three-burner gas grill with the middle burner off and the side burners set to 50%
  • Used a 2 lb boneless leg, took about 30m total to get to 120 before taking it off to carry over to 130. Flipped it after 20m.

May 21, 2022

Turkey Hash

This one was a little annoying because I had to make a bunch of other stuff first so I had leftovers to make the hash with. So one evening I roasted up a couple of turkey tenderloins over red potatoes. This got me a few of the leftovers. I also needed to make a batch of cornbread pudding to go along with it.

cornbread pudding

I was a big fan of the pudding, and I might make it again some day. Once I had all of the leftovers, I could then make the hash this morning for breakfast:

turkey hash

This made a ton of hash, and it was pretty good. I gave the rest of it to my mother in law, and she really enjoyed it too.

Turkey Re-Hash

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 2/5
  • Tastes good with ketchup

May 19, 2022

Cranberry Jam

As part of making a turkey dinner in order to make leftover hash (see next post), I figured I’d make In a Cranberry Jam to go along with the turkey.

It started by first making Tart Cranberry Dipping Sauce:

dipping sauce

Once the sauce was done (I saved some off for my turkey dinner), you then add more ginger ale and sugar and keep reducing it. The result is a tasty cranberry jam that was really good on leftover turkey sandwiches.

cranberry jam

In a Cranberry Jam

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Very good on turkey sandwiches

April 22, 2022

Pizzas

I had been waiting Pizza Pizzas, but since it takes some planning ahead to get the dough in the fridge about 24 hours before cooking, I’d been putting it off. But on Thursday I borrowed my neighbor’s Kitchenaid mixer complete with dough hook, and went to work. Dough always seems to complicated, and I never know if I’m doing it right, but I think it came together pretty well.

dough ball

I left it in the fridge for about 24 hours, took it out, split it, rolled both balls again, and left them for an hour or so to come to temperature. I may have even been able to leave them out a little longer, but the dough was easy enough to work with (which is always something that frustrates me about making pizza at home – the dough springing back after you shape it).

raw pizza

I got two approximately 11” x 8” oval shaped pizzas. The first one I did with just cheese and the second one I topped with sauteed mushrooms and onions. I then cooked them on my baking steel rather than a stone like in the show. I don’t think that makes much difference.

two delicious pizzas

I the end, the second one with the toppings was definitely our favorite (sorry AB). If I ever get myself a new mixer with a dough hook, I’ll be using this as my go-to pizza dough recipe from now on.

Pizza Pizzas

  • Crowd: 4/5
  • Ease: 2/5
  • There is a recipe comment on the web from AB himself that says to try reducing it to two teaspoons of salt and one tablespoon of sugar, which is what I did.

April 21, 2022

Pickled Fruit

About a week ago I mixed up some Summer Fruits as my last foray into Season 3 pickling. I actually made it a week and a day ago, and today we cracked it open from the fridge.

pickled fruit, side view

Have to say I was skeptical about pickled fruit – but this recipe works. They are a little sweet, and a little tart, and quite tasty. I don’t think we’ll be craving them any time soon (“I really want some of those pickled plums!”) but they were an interesting flavor combo and a cool thing to try.

pickled fruit, top view

Summer Fruits

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Left them in the fridge for a week before trying

April 17, 2022

Cookie Bake-Off

The other day I decided that I’d have a one-person cookie bake-off, trying all three cookie recipes from Season Three’s “Three Chips for Sister Marsha”: The Thin, The Puffy, and The Chewy.

I started by making the dough for each batch and chilling them all together in the fridge for an hour or so. When it was time to bake, I took all three out of the fridge and cooked two types at once (I have 2 sheet pans), using a #20 scoop.

dough

Cooking all those batches took hours, but I ended up with a ton of delicious cookies and the house smelled amazing.

cookies

So who won? Well they are all fantastic, but we definitely enjoyed The Puffy most of all. They are like little cakes. The Thin was second, followed by The Chewy. Not to say the chewy was bad – they are all wonderful cookies – it’s just the other two are that good.

The Thin

  • Crowd: 4/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • These weren't as thin as they were in the show. Maybe I should have let the dough come to room temperature a bit more before cooking.

The Puffy

  • Crowd: 4/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • We thought the first batch was undercooked a bit, so I started adding an extra minute to these -- but, after they cooled they were a bit tough so maybe 13-15 minutes _was_ perfect.

The Chewy

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Only a little more chewy than The Thin, but not as flavorful.

April 03, 2022

Red Cabbage

Almost a month since I’ve gotten back to a Season 3 recipe – lots in between then and now, like a 2 week vacation in Florida, and a new puppy.

Started back into it with Home of the Braise, a red cabbage dish. We were not really big fans of this one either (both cabbage recipes from Season 3 have been disappointing). We won’t be making this one again.

braised cabbage

Home of the Braise

  • Crowd: 2/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • No notes

March 04, 2022

Shredded Cabbage

I had high hopes for Shred, Head, Butter and Bread, but unfortunately it was a bit underwhelming. We do like cabbage generally, and this was OK (I went back for seconds) but I doubt we’d ever make this again.

done in the pan

Shred, Head, Butter and Bread

  • Crowd: 2/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Used gluten free butter & garlic croutons
  • Needed salt, would probably use salted butter if making this again

March 04, 2022

Black Beans & Rice

I’d had the ingredients for Black Bean Salad for a while and I was running out of time before the parsley and cilantro spoiled. So, I thought I’d whip this up after dinner last night.

ready to cook

It was a pretty easy recipe to make, and while it was cooking I also prepared some Chipotle-style cilantro lime rice to eat along with the beans.

finished beans

Once the beans were done, I added the oil, cilantro, lime juice, etc. and let them cool for a while before putting them in the fridge. To serve, I heat up some of the rice, then add the beans, then give it another minute or so in the microwave. Top with some sour cream and hot sauce and it’s one great meal!

When I want to have a bunch of black beans around, this is how I’ll prepare them.

Black Bean Salad

  • Crowd: 4/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Simmered for a total of 1.5 hours

March 01, 2022

Pickles, Round Two

Like the last round of pickles, I made both AB’s B and B’s and Hurry Curry Cauliflower about a week ago and left them in fridge to pickle for a while before trying them.

b and bs'

I’ve never been a fan of bread and butter pickles, but I have to say, these were really good – probably the best B&B’s we’ve ever had, for what that’s worth. It might have to do with using only 2/3 the amount of sugar called for. I usually find B&B’s way too sweet, and these were just right. I found that they were particularly good on tuna fish sandwiches.

hurries

The curry cauliflower on the other hand… were not so good. The curry spices didn’t really come through, and they ended up tasting like vinegary cauliflower. We tried a few of them, and dumped the rest (forgot to get a pic until I was almost done dumping them, whoops!). I’m not sure if it was my error on this, but they were just… blah.

AB's B and B's

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Halved the recipe, but used only 2/3 the amount of sugar called for (so in the case of halving the recipe, used 1/2 cup of sugar total)
  • Gave them a week in the fridge before trying them

Hurry Curry Cauliflower

  • Crowd: 2/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Left them in the fridge for a week before trying
  • Didn't have pickling salt, so I used fine sea salt w.o. additives

February 27, 2022

Quiche

Made some quiche (oops, Refrigerator Pie) for brunch today and it turned out great! I used a gluten-free frozen pie crust, some spinach, shredded cheddar, and some diced up ham steak.

the fillings

One thing I’ll do differently next time is squeeze out the spinach a lot more. I squeezed it in some paper towels, but probably not enough since it was a little bit watery.

royale poured

I cooked it for 35 minutes, checked it, and then popped it back in for another 10.

all cooked

This was so easy, and delicious. I will definitely be experimenting around with different types of quiches in the future.

Refrigerator Pie

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Used a frozen, gluten-free pie crust left out for about 15 minutes before cooking
  • Used 5oz spinach (pre-cooked), 1.5 oz shredded cheddar, 3.5 oz ham
  • Should have squeezed out the spinach a little bit more
  • Cooked exactly 45 minutes

February 21, 2022

Long Weekend Eats

Over the long weekend I got a few more season three recipes in. On Saturday I whipped up some Turbo Hummus as a snack. It was OK, tastes a bit like store-bought hummus. We gave it a 2 because we’ll eat it but probably won’t make it again.

hummus

For a Sunday pre-dinner snack I cooked up some Mojo Moulies, served with some sliced French bread. They were really good – a wonderful way to whip up some quick (and cheap!) shellfish. The sauce was awesome to dip bread into.

mojos

Finally (not here yet) I put together the Hurry Curry Cauliflower and got them into the fridge to pickle for a week before trying them.

Turbo Hummus

  • Crowd: 2/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Was hard to get the proportions right. Wish the recipe had amounts instead of "one lemon" or "handful of parsley"

Mojo Moulies

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Threw a tablespoon of butter into the sauce before stick-blending it

February 12, 2022

Pickles, Round One

Excited to make home-made pickles, I started with Kinda Sorta Sours and Firecrackers. I made them both on Thursday afternoon, put them in fridge, and tried them on Saturday.

pickles

I like the sours the best – I threw some dill into the jar like the comments on the recipe page suggested – and Gemma liked the firecrackers the best. Both are delicious and I’m looking forward to devouring both jars.

Kinda Sorta Sours

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Would use a little less sugar next time but they are delicious.
  • Like the recipe comments suggested, I threw a few fresh dill fronds into the jar.
  • Gave them about two days in the fridge before trying them.

Firecrackers

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Gave them about two days in the fridge before trying them.

February 11, 2022

Mooless Pie

Finishing off the season three tofu recipes, I put together the Moo-Less Chocolate Pie for Friday night dessert.

moo-less chocolate pie

It was super easy to put together, the texture is great, and it was super chocolatey. But… the inclusion of coffee liqueur (I used Kaluha) kind of ruined it for us. There’s a kind of “burn” from it. Were I to make it again, I’d use coffee or espresso instead, like was used in the chocolate mousse.

Moo-Less Chocolate Pie

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Used a pre-made Oreo pie crust
  • Was good, but next time I'd replace the Kaluha with something else, perhaps coffee or espresso -- there is a kind of background alcohol "burn" to the pie's taste that we don't like, but otherwise the texture and chocolate flavor is great.

February 07, 2022

A Tofu Day

Now that we’re rolling off of the New Year’s diet break, it’s time to get back into this Good Eats project for real. We’ve recently taken up a liking for tofu, so we decided to start with a few more the recipes from the Tofuworld episode, beginning with Tall & Tangy Tofu Thangy.

a tofu thangy

Not a great start. The drink was just… blah. I mean, it wasn’t gross or disgusting, just not good, and besides the fact that it’s certainly a dairy-free frozen drink, we just didn’t see the point. This one went unfinished, even though it pains me to throw food away. Swing and miss, Alton.

For dinner, our main entree was Fillet O’Fu with some veggies on the sde.

filleting fu

Overall it was good, but a little dry and bland. We ended up dipping it in some hoisin sauce, which was delicious. Ultimately though, we like our usual method of frying tofu better: cubed, tossed with salt/pepper/corn starch, then pan fried and eaten over stir-fry.

Tall & Tangy Tofu Thangy

  • Crowd: 1/5
  • Ease: 4/5
  • Used about 12oz of silken tofu
  • Can't see the rhyme or reason behind this recipe. Swing and a miss I think.

Fillet O'Fu

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Should have included some kind of sauce with this, maybe the beurre blanc would have been good? Or some kind of gravy. Ended up dipping the tofu in a little hoisin sauce that we had in the fridge.

January 18, 2022

Compound Butter

I actually made this a week ago on Jan 11, but wanted to try it on a few things before giving it a rating. One cool thing about this recipe is that it was the first time I used the old stand mixer my sister gave me years ago. I started out trying to use the hand mixer with the whisk attachment but that failed miserably, so out came the stand mixer and things went swimmingly from there.

stand mixing butter

I ended up with a lot, so I left some for use now, and some to freeze log-style like in the show (mine didn’t come out as neat and tidy).

some for now, some for later

This stuff is fantastic. Among other things we’ve tried it on:

  • Bread
  • Steak
  • Green beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Pasta” and sauce

A great flavor boost for any of these. Looking forward to being off the low carb thing and trying it on some fresh, warm dinner rolls.

Compound Butter

  • Crowd: 4/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • The recipe wasn't super exact about quantities (I wish I weighed them) but I used a tablespoon of each herb coarsely chopped, and approximately one ounce of chives. I think it could have used a touch more of each, but was still really good.

January 10, 2022

Buerre Blanc

While we’re eating low carb, we might as well get some of the higher-fat recipes out of the way. So tonight I made up some Raymond Beurre Blanc to go along with some steak.

a beurre in the pan is worth...

Also making an appearance was The Fungal Saute, a perfect accompaniment for steak, made extra delicious by the butter sauce.

steak and butter sauce

We loved this, and it was really easy to make. It’ll be a go-to when I need a quick sauce. I did think it was a little too lemony/acidic for my taste, but Gemma didn’t. Next time though, I think I’ll try half the amount of lemon juice and see how that goes.

Raymond Beurre Blanc

  • Crowd: 4/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Gemma didn't think so, but I thought it was a tad too lemony. Next time, I want to try half the lemon juice (perhaps add a bt more cream instead?)

January 09, 2022

Poached Eggs

What better use for Poached Egg Tips than to make some Eggs Benedict? The challenge for us is we’re currently in a January low-card diet, but we made it work well!

First I got some poached eggs going.

eggs a-poaching

While they were simmering I made some keto english muffins and some easy hollandaise sauce. When everything was done, we put it all together with some smoked ham and had an amazing low carb brunch.

eggs benne

Poached Egg Tips

  • Crowd: 4/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Did 7 minutes for 3 eggs, which left the yolks only a bit runny. We like runnier yolks than that so next time I might try 5 or 6 minutes.

January 07, 2022

Tofu Caesar Dressing

Going to try and do Season 3’s low carb recipes as we take a bit of a diet in he new year. Last night we put together some salad with the No Guilt Caesar dressing.

dressing in the blender

I was skeptical of the tofu, but it was really good. The dressing was creamy, smooth, and garlicky. This probably won’t replace our favorite Caesar dressing from America’s Test Kitchen, but it was worth making and we’re going to finish the rest off over the next few days.

salad

Season 3 has a few low-carb-friendly recipes so I’m going to try and get those done this month.

No Guilt Caesar

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Truly no guilt -- only about 50 calories and 1 carb per 2 Tbl serving.

December 29, 2021

Baked Beans

Progress has slowed a bit during the holidays but this week I decided to cook up a BBQ dinner featuring The Once and Future Beans along with some pulled pork sliders with cole slaw (slaw made by special guest chef Chris).

Cooked the beans for about 6 hours total, and added a little more liquid at the five hour mark when the beans were tender but not quite done yet.

BBQ dinner with beans

Gave these a three only because I think I burned some of the bacon fat as I was rendering it and there are little chunks in the beans that tasted fine but made for a strange consistency.

The Once and Future Beans

  • Crowd: 3/5
  • Ease: 2/5
  • I think I burned the bacon fat a little bit, so there were chunks in the beans, which tasted fine but made for a strange consistency. Next time I think I would render the bacon the way I do for chowder -- by adding a quarter cup of water to the pan with the bacon and letting it cook off to render.
  • Cooked for about 6 hours, but at five hours I checked them and decided I needed to add more liquid -- so I heated up and added a little less than a cup more of vegetable broth.

December 05, 2021

Hosting with Good Eats

Had Gemma’s sister, sister’s husband, and nieces over on Friday night and decided to incorporate some season 3 recipes into the weekend. For dessert on Friday I made the Flandango for everyone.

cooked flans

Like most of the desserts so far, it was the first time I’ve attempted it, and was a little nervous, but they were awesome. Used caramel, chocolate, and raspberry-apricot preserves as the toppings. Next time, I’ll cool them in the fridge before serving.

chocolate flan

Saturday morning I made up a couple batches of the “Instant” Pancake Mix – one batch used regular AP flour and the other used gluten free AP flour.

pancake cookin setup

Both types of pancakes came out great – we even had a bunch left over to freeze and eat later.

GF and regular cakes

Flandango

  • Crowd: 4/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Used caramel (4), chocolate sauce (2) and apricot-raspberry preserves (2) for the various toppings. Caramel was the clear winner.
  • Didn't catch this in the recipe, but probably should have popped them all into the fridge for a bit before serving, because the cooled ones were way better than the slightly warm ones we first ate.

"Instant" Pancake Mix

  • Crowd: 4/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Made two 2-cup batches (one third of the recipe) but used gluten free AP flour for one of them.
  • Probably needed to increase the amount of baking powder in the gluten free one to get a better rise.
  • Thinned out the non-gluten-free batter a little with 2-3 tablespoons of milk.

November 30, 2021

Honey Butter

Had a few minutes free so thought I’d whip up some Honey Butter. Rather than use a pound of butter and a stand mixer, I just used a single stick and mixed it in a bowl with a fork.

honey butter

Tried it on some toast and it’s amazing. Going to try it on some mashed sweet potatoes next, and then some pancakes this weekend. It’s delicious!

Honey Butter

  • Crowd: 4/5
  • Ease: 5/5
  • Made just one stick worth, used 4 tsp honey and 1/8 tsp each of vanilla and cinnamon
  • Didn't use a mixer either -- just mixed it in a bowl with a fork until everything was smooth and combined.

November 28, 2021

Turkey Soup

I wanted to get into Season Three right after Thanksgiving in order to have the raw materials for Bird to the Last Drop a.k.a. Good Eats turkey soup. I’m so glad I got the timing right, because this soup was so easy to make and so delicious.

turkey soup

Everyone loved it, served with some cut up Italian bread and butter. I just wish the recipe made more – next time will probably try adding another 32oz container of vegetable stock.

Bird to the Last Drop

  • Crowd: 4/5
  • Ease: 3/5
  • Could probably have used three 32oz packages of stock instead of two.