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A novice cooks plates for the week, w/ pics.

Background: I'm a fine dining guy, last year I probably spent enough for a nice sports car on dinning out. Heck, in November I probably spent 2k alone. New years resolution was to spend less on going out to eat (without sacrificing good food!). So I figured I'd give this cooking thing a try. Also helps out with the winter depression I get in the not-so-warm-although-globally-getting-there NJ. My girlfriend is my co-chef. I'm 25, and like long walks on the beach and getting caught in the rain. I have no cats.

Eggs Benny with Hollandaise, My favorite breakfast. First time poaching eggs....don't laugh

(not sure how this uploading pictures thing works, so bear with me, I might just end up linking to photobucket or flickr)

 
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  1. OK so uploading a picture pretty much sucks. Here is the link.

    http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2433...

    3 Replies
    1. re: RPMcMurphy

      Noice. Very noice!

      What's under the eggs? tomatoes? bacon?

      What's next?

      1. re: purple goddess

        just some simple canadian bacon. Nothing to crazy here, its my favorite breakfast dish and i wanted to get the basics down first, then I can experiment. I'm going to try a steak eggs Benedict next.

      2. re: RPMcMurphy

        Congratulations - all looks wonderful. BTW - I wonder if your trouble w/ uploading photos was that they are too big - happens to me sometimes.

      3. Then I made some homemade apple/pear syrup....I tried to replicate a dish I had in Brussels at a place called the Belga Queen. It was meatballs with "sirop de liege" over it. Well the sauce took 9 hours, and 20lbs of fruit, but it came out great!

        http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2433...

        my kitchen
        http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2433...

        to pass the time...
        http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2433...

        halfway through
        http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2433...

        had to strain that and reduce it....

        http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2433...
        not so good presentation, and while the sauce duplicated perfectly, I think I should have mixed it with the meatball stock to make it not as "hit you so sweet"...all in all success in reproducing the dish, from a recipe that I had to translate from french...and hope it was an accurate recipe!

        1. Then, last night I tried my hand at homemade pasta...raviolis.

          I made 2 different fillings...a meat with some left over meatload chop meat, and a recipe I forget where I got it.

          and wolfgang puck.com recipe for a cheese filling with farmers, goat, and marscapone cheese and potato.

          rolling out the dough was the toughest part, and I've since ordered a pasta roller. but it came out GREAT with a brown butter balsamic sauce...with some toasted walnuts!
          http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2435...

          http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2435...

          http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2435...

          http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2435...
          yum.

          4 Replies
          1. re: RPMcMurphy

            do you use a pasta maker or roll by hand? I have been meaning to try,but have not gotten around to it. Jamie Oliver and Giada have some good ravioli stuffing recipes.

            1. re: getcyped

              I did by hand, however, it would have been much easier with a 30$ pasta roller....that I plan to pickup this weekend. not exremely difficult, but it does take some time and strength, and when you think its thin enough, make it thinner haha.

              1. re: getcyped

                Use won-ton wrappers. I'm going to do it next week to make a proscuitto ravioli.

                1. re: The Old Broad

                  Old Broad I agree. For years I have made homemade pasta....one recipe I roll by hand, another I use a pasta roller. But once I started using wont-ton wrappers and no one seems to notice the difference....i say why not?

            2. And tonight I made a pork tenderloin (medallions) with a balsamic honey sauce. Marinaded the tenderloin all day, game out real tender, but the sauce was "eh", but only took a few minutes to whip up.

              http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2438...

              That's it for now....Any advice on a better glaze or sauce for the tenderloins would be appreciated! i was going to use the apple/pear reduction, but wanted to try something new....maybe next time.

              5 Replies
              1. re: RPMcMurphy

                Novice, shmovice, Go To The Head of The Class!

                1. re: RPMcMurphy

                  my favorite sauce for a pork tenderloin is a balsamic (2TB) and very good berry jam (3/4 cup) warmed on the stove, carefully stir in 1 cup of the berries (matching the jam). I did blueberry and it was excellent. I haven't tried this and want to: apricot jam and orange juice.

                  1. re: lexpatti

                    Hmm sounds like it would have a similiar taste to the apple/pear reduction I made....I'll definitely give something like that a try.

                  2. re: RPMcMurphy

                    When I'm making a fruit based sauce with pork loin, I find that I need something acid and pungent to cut through the sweet mildness. One thing I do is to add about a cup of dry white wine to the braising liquid. Another flavor that works very well with pork and fruit is mustard. And your photos all look great. Looks to me like you're a damn fine cook.

                    1. re: RPMcMurphy

                      Our favorite way to make pork tenderloin is to brine it whole overnight in 1-ground up granny smith, 1 or 2 c unfiltered apple cider, 1/8-1/4 c chili powder, peppercorns, 1/4 c salt, 1/4 c sugar, water to cover. Grill over charcoal, slice and serve with chunky applesauce. Delicious!

                    2. Congratulations on your success. The dishes look very nice and I really like your presentation. What are you hoping to conquer next?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: gabby29

                        Not sure, I'm a big steak guy, so something simple and steaky.

                        I also have some friends coming over for dinner soon, I plan on a make your own brushetta bar type appetizer with some different toppings.

                        Ravioli for main course, a salad, havent figured out a veggie yet....and maybe since ill be making the raviolis te day before, concetrate on some desserts.

                        I had some people over for dinner a couple of weeks ago after I felt I mastered french onion soup and that came out GREAT. THe stuffed chicken main course was OK, butnothing to tell mom about.