What is your favorite at-home dinner? [Cooking]

2010 Aug 23
Hello everyone!
I'm new to Ottawa Foodies, and I'm curious to find out what everyone's favorite dinner is to eat at home?
I'm talking when you have the whole afternoon/evening, with your significant other/nice company, and a bottle (or two, three..) of wine. So something that you enjoy spending the time on when you HAVE the time.
My fave would have to be seafood boil! All in a bowl.
Lobster is a must- Pre-cracking the parts makes it easy to pull it apart, but it's neat because it's still in the shell.
Another seafood (depending on what's most fresh- i.e. jumbo shrimp or delicious sea scallops, or mussels...mmm).
And now for the veggies- fingerling potato's, corn on the cob cut into 'mini' cobs, mushrooms (whole: button, cremini, shitake. Sliced: portabello..), whole roasted garlic cloves, green and yellow zucchini...and any other fresh delicious veggies I can find that complement that sort of dish.
I'll either opt for a wine based broth (with diced tomatos and green onion OR just a garlic butter on the side for dipping- or both!). Lemon on the side, parsley sprinkled on top. Salt and pepper.
This bowl is of course topped with a few slices of med-rare steak.
And, of course, a delicious fresh bread of somesort (my mom's rosemarry focaccia would be so Mmmm Mmmm).
This bowl is great for sharing (and it's a fun way to eat- just with your fingers!)
I don't do it right in the sense that everything doesn't get boiled together. Most of the ingredients get cooked seperately then assembled later. I did see a boil get cooked on the beach once (a fire pit in the sand, covered by sand and seaweed with all the ingredients wrapped up under the sand in neat little parcels). I want that sometime!
Now I included a picture of a seafood boil off the internet because I haven't done this in a while- so next time I do I will add my picture.
Note that this seafood boil has tons of crawfish and sausage (YUM! And I think a little more traditional?)

2010 Aug 24
Oh, lordy. That pic looks *delicious*.

Lobster's definitely near the top of my list, too. If I have the time, I also love making steak frites. I've probably said that a hundred times on the forum, now that I think of it, and every time I mention it my deep fryer breaks and I go without for ages ;) Making fries is the kind of leisurely pursuit that really lends itself to a bottle of wine.

It doesn't even take that long, but the other thing I love doing when it's just the two of us and we don't have anywhere to go the next morning is mussels. I mean, you have to crack open a bottle anyway, why let it go to waste?

One of these days, when I get a replacement deep fryer, I'll combine these two faves and make moules et frites. Awwww, yeah.

2010 Aug 24
I have to second steak frites, with roasted garlic aoili, and probably homemade pasta (not together of course).

2010 Aug 24
Snoopy: have you ever tried making your own béarnaise? It's something I've always wanted to try, but never seem to get around to doing.

2010 Aug 24
No... the reason mainly being that I like my steaks as is... a little seasoning, and they're good to go. Also, I normally don't have shallots, chervil and tarragon (fresh) lying around.

That being said, I've had delicious béarnaise in France with some steak, so I may try it one of these days.

2010 Aug 24
Bearnaise is one of the tougher things I've tried...I'm about 2/4 in my attempts, although I haven't tried it recently. When it comes together it is marvelous though...

2010 Aug 24
Any tips/things to avoid?

2010 Aug 25
Mmmm, Bearnaise- I like bearnaise on my steak when I have a seafood medley going on...other than that I like it too with just a bit of seasoning- and sometimes horseradish.
Mussels and frites sounds sooo good- comfort food!

2010 Aug 25
I would think that the biggest problem you run into when making it is having the heat on too high and curdling the eggs. Better to err on the side of not enough heat than too much. Almost wondering if it'd work better on a gas cooktop than an electric one, since you can tune the heat a bit more finely.

Funny how béarnaise and hollandaise can smell fear. You gotta show 'em who's boss, and whisk the hell out of them!

2010 Aug 25
Haha...my recommendations would be heat the eggs as slow as possible over a double boiler (or in a stainless bowl over a pot), and when you think you are heating them slow enough, go even slower.

Whisking in small diced cubes of cold butter one by one seems to help as well. I've also tried it with clarified butter, in that case the technique is more like making mayonnaise i.e: add in a thin stream. Not sure which of the two techniques is the accepted way, I'd guess the latter.

2010 Aug 25
According to my Larousse, Tracinho, both techniques are acceptable. Cubed butter is actually the one they talk about, and then make mention that if you want to, you can use clarified butter.

Momo, if it curdles, you can whisk in a tbsp of cold water. Also, as Tracinho said you should whisk it over a bain marie (double boiler).

2010 Aug 25
finally a thread to for foodies' home cooking.

my adaptation of thomas keller's linguine vongole with roasted garlic puree + white wine + linguine + manilla clams + cherrystone clams + clam sauce + garlic chive + purple amaranth + red shiso + winter onion. one of my fave seafood pasta dishes.

2010 Aug 25
Tracinho: Yeah, I was thinking of using both a double boiler and clarified butter to make it. Ghee is available in our house in abundance, so I don't even have to clarify it myself! :) Sucks that it's not my turn to cook this week, otherwise I'd know what I'd be doing all Sunday.

2010 Aug 25
OK believe it or not hollandaise (and there for I gather bearnaise too) is pretty easy to do in the microwave. Like the stove top method you have to stop and stir every 15 seconds or so - but it doesn't take long. Also will spoil if you do it too long.

2010 Aug 25
I seem to remember Craig Claiborne in his New York Times Cookbook used a food processor after cooking the eggs. Just put them into the food processor fitted with the blade, have your clarified butter (warm to the touch) and your warm water, beside the machine. Turn on the machine and slowly drizzle the clarified butter into food processor. If you see the emulsion starting to get too thick then add alittle warm water to thin it out. Keep repeating this process until you have your desired amount. Pour out into a bowl and using a whisk add the rest of your ingredents.

I have not made it in years (decades) but I do not remember it ever breaking and it is fast.

2010 Aug 25
I've heard of these microwave- and blender-based recipes. One of my coworkers has had great results with microwave hollandaise, and I have and love the New York Times Cookbook. They both look great. So easy it's almost like you're cheating.

Then again, if I were afraid of cheating I'd be making mayonnaise with a mortar and pestle rather than with a whisk!

2010 Aug 25
Given that the high-powered blenders (e.g. Vitamix, Blendtec) are able to blend fast enough to boil liquids due to friction, I wonder if they could be used to make sauces like this? I'm not sure if the texture would be ideal, but you surely wouldn't have any lumps!

2010 Aug 25
Does it boil by friction, or heat from the motor? My 30 year old osterizer can blend stuff to be very hot, but it is the latter.

2010 Aug 25
It is friction. When the tips of the blades are spinning around 270 km/h there's a fair bit of that going on!

2010 Aug 26
I think that NYT cookbook also has a blender version.

Is it the friction or are you just too hot? :)

2010 Aug 26

I like to source out a lot of different ingredients for my raclette. Pictured is my first raclette party. Since then I've reduced the number of ingredients (it was just way too many, really) and focussed on different meats and vegetables.

Cheeses: Swiss raclette from Ms. McGarrigles, mozzarella, brie

Bread: white bread and cheddar jalapeno from Art-Is-In Bakery

Grilling Meats: eye of round roast slices from The Butchery marinated in olive oil, garlic, whole peppercorns and fresh thyme, greek oregano, bay laurel and winter savoury; shrimp marinated in olive oil, lemon and soy sauce; grilled hot Italian sausage from The Piggy Market; grilled mild Italian sausage from The Piggy Market; grilled beef sausage made with coriander, mustard and black peppers from The Piggy Market; smoked sausage made with allspice, ginger and nutmeg from The Piggy Market

Charcuterie: bresaola from The Piggy Market, thickly-sliced parma prosciutto from The Butchery, cubed landjaegar sausage from Denningers, sliced German salami from Denningers

Fruit and Vegetables: grape tomatoes, green pepper, white and red onion, Irish Cobbler and Red Chieftan potatoes from my garden, triple mix confetti potatoes, scarlet nantes carrot slices, cortland apples from The Piggy Market, bosc pear slices, pineapple slices

Condiments: Jim's cocktail sauce; Dijon mustard; Canton fondue sauces: Oriental, Bourguignonne, Bearnaise, Wild Honey and Garlic

Other: Maille french style and dill cornichons,The Pickle Patch dill pickles from The Piggy Market, pickled silverskin onions

Drinks: Cave Spring riesling, Jackson Triggs Pinot Grisios, Santa Margherita Pino Grisios

2010 Aug 26
Hands down ultimate home-cooked meal: 3 hr slow-braised short ribs (braise in the oven, covered in zinfandel, beef stock, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaf. strain remove the fat, then reduce to a thick, richly flavourful sauce), velvety mashed potatoes, and oven-roasted fresh chanterelles with thyme.

And maybe a glass of '82 Petrus (or failing that, a great california cab)

2010 Aug 27
oyster city = oysters + sherry vinaigrette + salmon roe + lumpfish caviar + ginger puree + thai dragon pepper + purslane

2010 Aug 27
oyster city 2.0

2010 Aug 28
I have to say, I would never be able to do that at home- I don't even know how to shuck an oyster. I've had oyster on a half shell at Big Daddy's Crab Shack before and I really enjoy them.
I want to try this at home sometime.
Where do you get your salmon roe, lumpfish caviar...I have a feeling you're not buying the little jars in the seafood section of the grocery store? :)

2010 Aug 30
in t.dot: whole foods, macewan, TNT Supermarket.

2010 Aug 30
lobster truffle poutine - atlantic lobster + black truffles + smoked provologne & 6-year old balderson cheddar & caramelized onion cream sauce + blue potatoes.

2010 Aug 31
Hi, I'm new to Ottawa Foodies too. The photos on this thread are so delicious.

It's hard to choose a favourite meal, though!
Summer: bbq. My husband has been toying with different meats and homemade marinades/dry rubs/sauces and seasoned wood chips. There isn't really one recipe; the main thing is to cook the meat for 4+ hours.

Winter: roasted bird. Duck is my favourite. After we pick at the leftovers for a couple of days or so, I boil the rest, make a broth, pick the bones, and make a soup and a pate.