Food! [The thread that started this section]

NecroJoe

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The funny thing is that while I got that new (used) air fryer oven, I hadn't read the manual yet, so I was making this in a skillet. I had pounded it as flat as I could, but it started to pull in and thickened up because I was using too-high of heat. By the time the coating started to burn and smoke on the perimeter of the skillet, the inside of the chicken was still only around 125*F. So I quickly threw it onto the air fry rack and cranked the air fryer up to about 450F for a few minutes. It got so hot so quick it started smoking, so I pulled it out and it was perfectly done. The outside was the crispiest chicken coating I've ever made, and it was SUPER juicy. One of the best pieces of chicken I've made in a long time, even though I nearly burned it twice. Ha!

Today I used the toaster oven again on some sandwiches. First I very lightly toasted some "Everything" ciabatta rolls from the grocery store. Put mayo on one side, and Kensington's chipotle may on the other. Put some Trader Joe's jarred roasted red peppers on one side, topped them with two slices of smoked ham and then put paper-thin slices of genoa slami on the other. Put them back into the toaster oven for a few minutes until the salami started to cup and the edges started to dry. Pulled it out, took a piece of string cheese and pulled that apart and laid it over the two halves of the sandwich and toasted again until the cheese was fully softened.

For as simple of a sandwich as that was, it reminded me of the toasted sandwiches I used to pay $12.99+tax for back when I used to work in the city. Granted it was only half the size, but I think I probably paid maybe $3 of ingredients.
 

jack_christie

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Steak can be great done in an air fryer
 

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NecroJoe

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~35 years ago, my family discovered the cashew chicken from Yen Ching, near 76th and Good Hope Rd in the Milwaukee 'burbs. We used to go almost every weekend for lunch, and sometimes even during the week for dinner, for years. Every so often, we'd venture over to Tang's Dynasty near Northridge Mall because the rest of their menu was little different and they had cashew chicken that was *almost* as good...but not quite...and eventually we just stuck with Yen Ching.



A little over 20 years ago, I moved away from the area. But every time I come back home, I always try to time my flight in so that we can stop there on the way home from the airport for dinner, and then my out-going flight so that we have time to stop for lunch and still make my afternoon flight.



But, as family has aged and weddings and funerals are less and less common, my old stomping grounds are completely gone, I don't find as many excuses to come back "home". But as silly as it sounds, I crave Yen Ching's Cashew Chicken like no other food item on the planet. Ha!



And today, my heart sank. Stalking their Yelp page to ogle photos of my favorite dish, I saw: "Permanently Closed".



I'm under no delusion that it was "fine dining", and...hell...I used to work 2 blocks from arguably the best Chinatown in the country with everything from "mom and pop" dives, high-end authentic, and modern takes on Chinese food...and still...I just crave Yen Ching's cashew chicken.



On paper, it's just a battered fried chicken, in a sweet/savory (not spicy) gravy, topped with cashews and maybe a little green onion....but I haven't found a recipe that gets anywhere near the flavor. We've noticed that in the last 5-10 years, there are some nights where it's not exactly the same flavors as other nights, but the base flavor is still there. If a "normal" night that matches what it was 30 years ago is an A+, the "off" nights would still be an A-. But I'd still stop in every time, even for their "minus".



I've done some research, and a lot of people would say that it was "St Louis" or "Springfield (MO)" style cashew chicken, but I've now made 4 different recipes that claim to be that style (including what's supposed to be the "original" from Leong's, and the flavor is pretty far away from Yen Ching's.



I've searched through the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal archives, and I couldn't find if there've been any articles that included a recipe.


I've got a home-sick tummy that has gone un-satiated for so long, and feeling low with the realization I may never have it again.
 
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NecroJoe

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A recipe I know I've posted before, because it's one if our defaults for something "nice"/"light".

Honey, Lemon, & Sumac Chicken

12 oz Chicken breast meat, salted and peppered, and scored, marinated in juice from 1/2 lemon, 1 tablespoon evoo and 2 teaspoons dried sumac (cured, if you can get it).

Make salad dressing from the zest if a second lemon, thr juice if that lemon and the second half if the first lemon, 3 tablespoons evoo, 2 tablespoons honey, salt and pepper.

Boil 1 cup israeli couscous in salted water (i used some sort of cous cous blend from Trader Joe's...not a fan). Drain, and toss with 1/2 of the salad dressing and set aside.

Cook chicken breast. For me that means the Griddler got 5-6 mins on high, then tent with foil for a few mins.

While chicken is cooking, toss dressed cous cous with 2oz arugula/rocket, 1/4 cup chopped roasted almonds, 1/4 oz fresh mint, 1/4 oz fresh parsley, and 1/cup dried cranberries (gold raisins also work in a pinch).

Split salad between two plates.

Once chicken is rested, slice and place atop salad.

Top with remaining salad dressing.

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NecroJoe

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Nothing fancy, but damn that hit the spot.

Leftover rice
Roasted sweet potato
Roasted red onion
Chipotle garlic seasoning blend
Leftover black-peppered bacon
Fried egg (Could have been crispier...still learning the new stove)
Spicy BBQ sauce
Pickled red onion

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NecroJoe

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That sounds like a pizza Michelangelo would have ordered on an episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja/Hero Turtles.
 

NecroJoe

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J. Kenji Lopez-Alt says a BLT is less a "bacon sandwich with tomato" and more of a "tomato sandwich, seasoned with bacon". When you can get a good tomato, that is. This one wasn't bad. Otherwise? Pile on more bacon! Ha!

Some shitty supermarket white bread on sale for $0.47/loaf and a single $5 tomato

[edit: Not sure why that first photo looks like grape jelly and peanut butter. Ha! it's a spicy BBQ sauce, and chipotle mustard.]
[edit 2: I just realized it's only a B_T, since I had no lettuce. D'oh.]


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NecroJoe

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Umm...yes, ease. :)

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Verdict: very tasty, but instead of Tajin, I wish it was something like a smokey, chocolate-y chipotle
 

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Nordic keyword pizza. :mrgreen: Horse meat, pineapple and jalapeno on a gluten free base.

AL9nZEVR5MTYMLl8oTL09566xikJ_gkMQX9SHTsmcWZPYrLnuwLcoSg1zdoeR5ru5M9dYGzVu6thw9Di2xmFV3O4AbAYFGbyyqBUpFGbbKAVICyKRC65DDelmpfi0UmDCS6DYgnbCVE6nQcAIDAGITlwAHxjoA=w1922-h1289-no
We don't really do horse meat here. I'm SO curious about it. Also, this sounds like a combo I'd enjoy, provided horse tastes okay.
 

NecroJoe

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Initially, this was just going to be a sandwich and some broccoli because I didn't want to put in any effort.. Then I realized I was more in the mood for something creamy with the broccoli, so I swapped the sandwich for a Pasta-Roni...then i saw how little broccoli we actually had, and then realized I had some potatoes that were just starting to look like they needed to be used up, so I made some parm/seasoned panko-crusted potato wedges, with some spicy BBQ sauce. So a 10-min dinner turned into an hour-long one.
 

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NecroJoe

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It doesn't photograph well, but it's tasty. Torn-apart 99 cent day-old 6oz sourdough loaf, maybe 8 figs, 4-5 small tomatoes, tarragon, crumbled feta, olive oil, salt and pepper, baked ~ 27mins.

It wasn't until it was all gone before I realized I should have added a squeeze of lemon, or some balsamic...d'oh.

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It's from the cook book that this recipe references:
https://www.thedailymeal.com/recipes/warm-salad-roast-tomatoes-figs-and-feta-tarragon-recipe


Tomorrow, I'll be trying this french toast recipe for the first time. As the cook, I always hate having to batch out servings and cooking while others get to eat (or if they don't, if they wait, their food will be worse quality because it won't be fresh).

Yes, that means two meals in a row that is substantially bread. Know what we had for lunch today? A sandwich. 😅 And lunch yesterday? Another sandwich. :ROFLMAO:
 

NecroJoe

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Toasted ciabatta bread topped with a smear of toum, then topped with roasted/grilled (aka baked, then broiled) eggplant with olive oil and mixed with parsley and a squeeze of lemon.

This was the 2nd serving, so there was much less eggplant than what was on the first piece of bread, but really tasty. Then just finished off the bread with some toum, heirloom tomato, some of the residual eggplant oil, and pepper.

Quite tasty.

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NecroJoe

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Biscuit breakfast sandwiches.
Made 6 scrambled eggs, so each of 4 sandwiches has about 1.5 scrambled eggs
Slice of pepperjack cheese
Mine has 2 strips of bacon, and a small squeeze of chipotle mayo.
Biscuits are just store-bought Grands.

If I had hashbrown patties, I would've added one, but we only had tots on hand, and these sandwiches were too small in diameter to support them...

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NecroJoe

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Tomorrow, I'll be trying this french toast recipe for the first time. As the cook, I always hate having to batch out servings and cooking while others get to eat (or if they don't, if they wait, their food will be worse quality because it won't be fresh).

I realized I never circled back on this. I followed the recipe to a "T", including the exact same pan they used, and I bought what I thought was the exact bread brand they used, Orowheat.

The french toast came out super dry. What a disappointment. I've never been so disappointed by an ATK recipe before.

By the time I flipped over the last few pieces of bread when loading up the sheet pan, there was no more liquid. All of the pale sections of bread are not saturated with the "custard".

Ended up having to add way more syrup just to choke down the oven-dried bread. :lmao:

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